Parlamentārā sekretāre Briselē 2022. gada 20. maijā

On 20 May 2022, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in the meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in its development configuration, held in Brussels. The main topic on the Council’s agenda was the global implications of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, with a focus on food security worldwide.

The Parliamentary Secretary underlined that Russia was responsible for triggering a global food crisis. Russian troops are destroying Ukraine’s agricultural and transport infrastructure in a systemic manner, as well as blocking Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea coast. By the end of July, 20 million tonnes of grain should be exported from Ukraine.

Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica underlined the urgency of resuming Ukraine’s agricultural production. This is just one of the sectors where Russia’s aggression has led to disastrous consequences. Latvia calls on the Commission to set up a legal framework that would make it possible to confiscate the frozen Russian assets to help finance rebuilding of Ukraine.

It is of equal importance to facilitate the export of Ukrainian agricultural produce without further delay. The Parliamentary Secretary welcomed the action plan developed by the European Commission for EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes to facilitate Ukraine's agricultural export and bilateral trade with the EU. The action plan provides for ensuring additional means of transportation, increasing the capacity of logistics networks and infrastructure, streamlining customs procedures and other inspections, and storing grain in the EU’s territory. The Parliamentary Secretary confirmed that Latvia was prepared to contribute.

During the meeting, the Council held an informal exchange of views with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, concerning current global crises, including those in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Yemen. There are more than 84 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, and 48.9 million people are facing starvation. 60% of people who are food insecure (about 811 million) live in the regions affected by conflict or violence.  

Background information

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council in its development configuration deals with the matters of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. The meetings are chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.