Italy will fully support the efforts of Ukraine and the international community aimed at finding ways to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine, Davide La Cecilia, the Ambassador of Italy to Ukraine stated speaking of his country's chairmanship in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2018.

“Full political support will be provided to efforts aimed at finding ways to resolve the crisis in Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements and in the Norman format," the ambassador informed  on his Twitter page.

The Italian ambassador, together with the OSCE monitors visited the ATO zone on the New Year’s eve, namely the city of Mariupol. His visit coincided with Italy's chairmanship in the OSCE.

January 1, 2018 Bulgaria became the chairman of the Council of the European Union for the first time after joining the EU. The baton of the semi-annual chairmanship was taken by Bulgaria from Estonia, which was at the head of the Council during the second half of 2017.

Many observers are concerned about the fact that Sofia, which heads the Council, is in favor of abolishing anti-Russian sanctions.

Thus, in September 2017, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov stated that Bulgaria would support the lifting of sanctions against Russia during its presidency of the EU Council in 2018. He noted that he would try to cancel the sanctions, but he was not sure if his country had time to "solve this very difficult task".