Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell expressed hope that bloc members will approve more Ukraine aid.
Speaking at the meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday, he noted that the EC seeks approval to send an additional 500 million euro worth of military aid to Ukraine, according to Reuters reporting.
Diplomatic sources noted that, besides pushing for more aid to Ukraine, the EU was preparing a new package of sanctions against Russia, but stressed that no decisions on the matter are expected on Monday.
Ministers are also to discuss plans to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine rebuild after the war as well as a fresh sanctions package against Iran over the crackdown on anti-government protests.
Commenting on EU Parliament’s call to list Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, Borrell pointed out that the bloc cannot do so until an EU court settles the matter.
Call for blacklisting
Earlier this month, the EP called on the bloc to blacklist the IRGC over the repression of protests and delivery of drones to Russia.
“It is something that cannot be decided without… a court decision first,” Borrell stressed and reminded “you cannot say I consider you a terrorist because I don’t like you.”
He reiterated that an EU member state court must first come forward with a ruling before the bloc can take action.
Speaking at the ministerial meeting on Monday, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock stressed the importance of discussing the idea to blacklist the IRGC.
“We still see in Iran a brutal regime against its own population… the Iranian regime, the Revolutionary Guards terrorize their own population day after day,” she warned.
The IRGC was formed shortly after the Islamic Revolution in Iran to protect the clerical ruling system. According to estimates, it has more than 100,000 troops and controls the Basij, a volunteer paramilitary force that often takes part in crackdowns on protests.
Relations between EU member states and Iran have deteriorated as negotiations on the nuclear deal have stalled and the bloc is increasingly critical of Tehran’s crackdown on anti-government protests.