EU leaders propose plans for tackling crises in Syria, Ukraine

World Today

European foreign ministers threw their support behind efforts to negotiate a military “freeze” in Syria on Monday and outlined plans to restore basic infrastructure and governance in the northern city of Aleppo.

CCTV America’s Jack Barton reported this story from Brussels.

EU leaders propose plans for tackling crises in Syria, Ukraine

European foreign ministers threw their support behind efforts to negotiate a military "freeze" in Syria on Monday and outlined plans to restore basic infrastructure and governance in the northern city of Aleppo.

Those who remain in tTe embattled Syrian city of Aleppo survive without reliable electricity, water, or an effective administration. On Monday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief announced a fund and a plan to change the current conditions.

“If and when we managed to have a [military] freeze in Aleppo, the European Union will be and has to be ready to come in with a major humanitarian effort to make the life of the people dramatically better than it has been so far,” Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said.

The ‘freeze’ — a U.N. plan to open humanitarian corridors in Syria — is backed by the EU, but Syrian opposition groups rejected the idea. They believed it plays into the hands of the Assad Government, a concern that is shared by some EU member states.

“We also think we need to step up humanitarian efforts and support for the Free Syrian army and the opposition in Aleppo,” Martin Lidegaard, Denmark’s minister for foreign affairs, said.

The chaos in Libya was also on the agenda along with the continuous fighting in Ukraine.

“Frankly speaking, the cease-fire is also not working,” Linas Antanas Linkevičius, Lithuania’s minister for foreign affairs, said.

The ministers also discussed a proposal to ban EU firms from doing business with Crimea, since it was absorbed by Russia earlier this year. The potential ban would include exports of equipment used for oil and gas exploration.

Mogherini will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday where she will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss political and economic reforms and the security situation near the Russian border.