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Swedish Foreign Minister fails to come to Kyiv for EU Council meeting because he has forgotten his passport - media

3 October, 2023 Tuesday
15:41

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström was unable to attend the meeting of EU foreign ministers held on October 2 in Kyiv because he forgot his passport

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Die Presse reports, citing sources in diplomatic circles.

It is noted that the minister was not allowed to cross the Polish-Ukrainian border because he did not have a passport. Therefore, he had to abandon the eight-hour train trip to Kyiv.

Not all 27 EU foreign ministers attended the informal meeting of the EU Council in Kyiv. For example, Bildstrom's Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó, who was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship, refused to attend from the very beginning. And Latvian and Polish Foreign Ministers Krisjānis Karinš and Zbigniew Rau did not come because of the coronavirus.

The reasons foreign ministers of the EU countries came to Kyiv

On Monday, October 2, an informal meeting of the European Union's foreign ministers began in the Ukrainian capital, the first ever outside the EU. The foreign ministers were brought together in Kyiv by the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell.

The main purpose of the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kyiv was to demonstrate European support for Ukraine. 

In addition, Ukraine's integration into the EU was on the agenda of the meeting, as well as summarizing some critical measures, such as military assistance and further strengthening of sanctions against Russia.

Before the meeting, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reiterated the EU's promise to accept Ukraine into the bloc in the future and called for preventing Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

At the same time, Oleksandr Kraiev, an expert at the Foreign Policy Council Ukrainian Prism, noted that the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kyiv is a positive signal for Ukraine.

In the evening, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his evening address that the offsite meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council was a very symbolic day. He also noted that it was "formally outside the borders" and that Ukraine's accession was "only a matter of time."

"Our key integration goal is to reach a decision this year to start membership negotiations. And today I heard once again at the meetings, at the negotiations, that this is absolutely possible. Ukraine will definitely fulfill its part of the work - seven recommendations of the European Commission," the President emphasized.


 
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