Council of the Baltic Sea States to hold its first ministerial meeting in nine years

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) will hold a ministerial meeting for the first time since 2013. The meeting will be held in Kristiansand on 24–25 May, and will be attended by foreign ministers and high-level representatives from ten of the member states and the EU.

The Council meeting at foreign minister level was not held in 2014, following Russia’s aggression and illegal takeover of Ukrainian territory and military support to rebels in eastern Ukraine, and the annual meetings have not been resumed until now. However, since 2017, the foreign ministers have held meetings outside the framework of the Council to maintain some degree of political dialogue and practical cooperation.

In March this year, the CBSS member states decided to suspend Russia from further participation in the Council’s activities, in response to the unprovoked and illegal war now being waged by Russia against Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and the country's authorities. Belarus was also suspended from its role as an observer in the Council.

Norway currently holds the Presidency of the CBSS and Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt has invited the members to the meeting in Kristiansand. On Wednesday 25 May, a political meeting will be held with representatives from the ten member states and the European External Action Service (EEAS), as well as the Director General of the CBSS. The discussion will focus on the situation in the Baltic Sea region following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the CBSS.

Press conference

A press conference will be held after the CBSS ministerial meeting in Kristiansand. Foreign Minister Huitfeldt together with some of her colleagues on the Council will meet the press at 11:00 on Wednesday 25 May.

Members of the press who wish to participate should register here by 19 May.

About the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)

The CBSS was established in 1992 following an initiative of Denmark and Germany. The presidency rotates between the member states on an annual basis. Although Norway and Iceland do not border on the Baltic Sea, they have been members from the start together with the other Nordic and Baltic countries, and Germany, Poland and Russia. The EU is also represented through the European External Action Service (EEAS). As of March 2022, Russia has been suspended from participating in Council activities. For more information about the CBSS and the Norwegian Presidency see cbss.org.

Press contact: Siri R. Svendsen, mobile: +47 97 68 78 01, e-mail: siri.svendsen@mfa.no.