Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis.
The Diplomat. 22/05/2017
The Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, is already preparing the visits he will make in the first half of June to Russia and Ukraine, according to information provided to The Diplomat by sources of his department.
This will be the first time that Dastis, after his arrival to the Santa Cruz Palace, travels to these two countries, which maintain a serious conflict now, after the annexation by Russia of the Peninsula of Crimea and Moscow’s support to the separatists of the provinces of the East of Ukraine. Spain has supported the sanctions of the European Union against Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
Dastis had programmed his trip to Russia for the beginning of May, but he had to postpone it due to difficulties to make his agenda coincide with that of his Russian colleague, Serguei Lavrov, with whom he plans to have conversations. Finally, his visit will take place on 6 and 7 June, and they will predictably talk about, among other things, the appropriate time for the presidents of Government of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, and Russia, Vladímir Putin, to exchange visits.
Besides, Dastis and Lavrov will analyse the situation of the conflict with Ukraine and the compliance of Minsk Agreements, as well as other matters on international policy, among them the war in Syria.
The minister will analyse with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts the conflict between Moscow and Kiev
A week later, on 12 and 13 June, the Spanish minister will travel to Kiev, to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavló Klimkin, in what will also be his first visit to Ukraine.
Like in Russia, the conflict between both countries will be present in Dastis’s conversations with the Ukrainian authorities, whose Foreign Minister was recently received by the US President, Donald Trump, and the vice-president, Michael Pence, in what Klimkin interpreted as Washington’s support to its positions facing Moscow.
Dastis will arrive in Kiev the same day on which Brussels will formally announce the removal of short-term visas for Ukrainians travelling to the European Union, and old aspiration for Ukraine.