EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Sahel and coastal countries of West Africa and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on 23 January. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will represent Finland at the meeting.

Text: Foreign Affairs Council 23.1.2023

The EU foreign ministers will continue their discussion on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The topics they will cover include continued support to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility, energy resilience, accountability, Ukraine’s peace proposal, and preparations for the EU–Ukraine Summit on 3 February.

“When the Foreign Affairs Council meets in Brussels, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lasted almost one year. Support to Ukraine is the most important topic on the agenda. Finland, and the whole of the EU, must continue their support to Ukraine as Russia keeps attacking Ukraine and its energy infrastructure,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto.

The EU foreign ministers will exchange views on the situation in Sahel and the coastal countries of West Africa. Finland welcomes the EU’s efforts to stabilise the countries in the Sahel region and to help them return to the democratic process and to support the coastal countries to prevent the spread of instability in the region.

“To find a solution to the situation in the Sahel and the coastal countries of West Africa, we need intensive dialogue with the region and we need to support it both regionally and bilaterally,” Minister Haavisto says.

Other topical matters on the Council agenda will be the situations in Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and Ethiopia.

The EU foreign minister will have an informal lunch with Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammad Shtayyeh. They will also discuss the situations in Ukraine and Iran with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi over an informal breakfast.


  • Tomi Nyström, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 470
  • Lauri Hirvonen, European Correspondent, Director of the Unit for European Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), tel. +358 295 350 063
  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format