Informal meeting of Defence Ministers: Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell upon arrival

(Source: EEAS)

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Today is the Informal Defence Council. We are going to talk mainly about the Strategic Compass: partnerships, capabilities.

Yesterday, we had a dinner with the Secretary General of NATO [Jens Stoltenberg] to start advancing in the discussions that we are going to have today.

The important thing is how to build a good partnership with NATO. How to build capacities for the European armies, and also to talk about the missions.

The situation in Mali, in Libya with [EUNAVFOR MED] Operation IRINI and the prospects for Mozambique will be on the agenda. So, we have a lot of things to discuss today.

About Belarus, yesterday there were some news about obstacles for European planes to take off and to land in Moscow. There was a big disturbance on the air traffic, but we still do not know if it is a case-by-case, specific cases, or if it is a general norm of Russian authorities in order to make the European planes overfly Belarus. We still do not know. There were a couple of cases, some planes that could not land, others that could not take off. But, frankly speaking, we have to wait and see in order to take measures.



Q. Do you fear an escalation between the EU and Russia?

Well, the risk always exists. The risk of an escalation always exists. It may happen that the whole air traffic control is disturbed or it is just a couple of individual cases. We are looking at that.

Q. What is the state of play of the training mission to Mozambique?

It is advancing, it is on track. I think that we could be able to approve this mission. The problem will be to look for capacities, apart from Portugal, who else is going to contribute.

Q. When will it take place?

In a couple of months.

Q. Is the EU considering providing aid to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to a mission of theirs?

For the time being, we are taking care of ourselves, of our missions.

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