Lipavský unveils Czech foreign policy plans for EU Presidency
During the Czech EU Presidency, the country’s foreign policy will focus on the conflict in Ukraine, ending energy dependence on Russia, strengthening defense capabilities as well as trade agreements, said Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said Tuesday at a press conference at Černín Palace in Prague. .
The ministry’s foreign policy objectives are fully aligned with the objectives of the EU Presidency unveiled by the government last week. These relate to the management of the Ukrainian refugee crisis and Ukraine’s post-war recovery, EU energy security, strengthening Europe’s defense capabilities and cyberspace security, resilience of the European economy and the resilience of democratic institutions.
Mr Lipavský said that the Czech Republic will continue to support Ukraine in terms of military and humanitarian aid and will demand tougher sanctions against Russia. It will also be the Czech Republic’s goal to isolate Putin’s Russia from various international forums, the foreign minister said.
Regarding free trade agreements, Lipavský said negotiations with Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and some South American states are currently underway. EU cooperation with the US in the Trade and Technology Council is also seen as essential.
The head of Czech diplomacy said that the country wants to reintegrate the legacy of Václav Havel into its EU presidency activities and that is why its action plan includes the resilience of democracy and human rights ‘man.
Geographically, the ministry intends to focus primarily on Eastern Europe, in particular the future of the Eastern Partnership and an EU common values policy towards Russia. Other areas of interest include the Western Balkans and supporting that region’s efforts to join the EU as well as the Indo-Pacific. The latter was identified as important, particularly in terms of cooperation in the cyber and space domains. The Sahel region of Africa is also considered important in terms of security, regional stability and development cooperation.
Mr Lipavský also indicated that the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, will take part in the informal meeting of the heads of EU diplomacy in Prague, scheduled for the end of August.