BRUSSELS, May 16 (KUNA) -- European Union Foreign Ministers Monday evening ended their formal meeting in Brussels without reaching an agreement on the sixth sanctions package on Russia.
"Unhappily today, it has not been possible to reach an agreement to finalise the 6th sanctions package," EU High Representative Josep Borrell told a news conference after the meeting.
"The issue will go back to EU Ambassadors to continue discussing," he said, adding "we are with the same difficulties about unanimity on the oil ban." The sanction package includes a proposal to ban all oil imports from Russia by the end of this year, but it has run into strong opposition from a number of EU countries like Hungary, which are heavily dependent on Russian energy imports.
The EU ministers agreed to provide an additional EUR 500 million (USD 521 million) from the European Peace Facility for weapon deliveries to Ukraine.
"What started with 500 million euro , now reaches 2 billion euro (USD 2.08 billion). And this is just the point of the iceberg, because apart from this 2 billion euro, the (EU) Member States do a lot from their side without asking for refunding," said Borrell.
The EU's foreign policy chief stressed that "the world will be completely different after this war (in Ukraine). Completely different. The relationship of forces, the geopolitical balances, the equilibriums, the alliances. The geopolitics of energy will change dramatically with this war." Meanwhile, an EU statement said that during a business lunch, EU Foreign Affairs Ministers were joined by their counterparts from the six Western Balkans countries, and discussed the future of the region on its path to the European Union.
The Ministers explored possible EU actions to further focus the block's political engagement in the region, and considered how to help the Western Balkans partners increase their resilience vis-a-vis third actors and hybrid threats, it noted.
Borrell also provided an update on EU financial support to Palestine as a follow-up to the April meeting of EU foreign ministers. (end) nk.hb