Notions of 'Spheres of Influence' Have No Place in 21st Century, EU Says

By 24 January 2022

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - EU foreign ministers said on Monday that notions of "spheres of interest" had no place in the 21st century and condemned Russia's threats against Ukraine, threatening Moscow with "massive consequences" if it attacks Ukraine.

"Notions of 'spheres of influence' have no place in the 21st century," the Council said in conclusions on the European security situation.

EU foreign ministers met in Brussels today and the main topic was the tense situation on Ukrainian borders, where Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops.

"The Council condemns Russia’s continued aggressive actions and threats against Ukraine, and calls on Russia to de-escalate, to abide by international law and to engage constructively in dialogue through the established international mechanisms," the conclusions say, adding that "any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs."

That "includes a wide array of sectoral and individual restrictive measures that would be adopted in coordination with partners."

Due to the situation in Ukraine, some countries have announced downsizing their diplomatic missions and advised against travel there.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said Croatia was monitoring the situation and that for now there was no reasons to withdraw diplomats.

"The EU High Representative for the foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, has said that for now there is no reason to evacuate. Croatia will follow the situation and the EU's position. There might be a change, but for now the member states won't withdraw their diplomats," he said.