"Russia uses hunger and energy as weapons" - what Borrell and Kuleba said after the EU Foreign Affairs Council

, 18:22, 02.10.2023
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

European Union Foreign Affairs Council marks a historic moment as it convenes in Kyiv, promising unwavering solidarity, substantial financial support, and robust security guarantees for Ukraine.

Russia uses hunger and energy as weapons - what Borrell and Kuleba said after the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Dmytro Kuleba and Josep Borrell, Kyiv, October 2, 2023

Following the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Kyiv on October 2, European Union High Representative Josep Borrell held a press conference where he made significant announcements regarding security guarantees and increased financial support for Ukraine.

The Council of Foreign Ministers in Kyiv is a historic event

Borrell described this meeting as a “historic event” since it marked the first time the Council of Diplomacy convened outside the EU, and notably, in a country aspiring for EU membership. Additionally, it was unprecedented for such a meeting to take place in a nation experiencing ongoing hostilities.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba emphasized the concrete significance of this event, stating that it serves as a tangible demonstration of unity among participants and a strong message that Russia's aggression affects not only Ukraine but the principles upon which Europe stands.

Josep Borrell emphasized the EU's solidarity with Ukraine in the face of what he called an "unjust, illegal war" by Russia. He had previously visited Odessa, witnessing firsthand the harsh consequences of Russian aggression.

Borrell pointed out that Russia is using hunger and the disruption of electricity as tools of war against Ukraine. During the October 2 meetings with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, EU diplomats discussed the security commitments they intend to offer Ukraine.

Dmytro Kuleba also highlighted the issue of food security, particularly the importance of securing a maritime corridor for Ukrainian grain exports that bypasses Russia. He stressed the need to protect this corridor from potential disruptions, with the EU's potential assistance.

Borrell proposed a new multi-year package of €5 billion annually for the European Peace Fund and expressed hope for a revision of the Multiannual Financing Program for Ukraine by the year's end. He also mentioned efforts to enhance cooperation between European and Ukrainian defense industries.

Aid for Ukraine: funds, sanctions, countering information warfare and security guarantees

The EU plans to continue supporting Ukraine in areas such as post-conflict demining, resilience building, cybersecurity, protection against hybrid threats like disinformation, and common strategic communication.

Kuleba discussed the EU's intentions to adopt a 12th package of sanctions against Russia, including measures to prevent circumvention of existing sanctions and restrictions on the Russian defense industry responsible for producing missiles and drones used in attacks on Ukrainian cities. Sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry and Russian propagandists are also under consideration.

Both Borrell and Kuleba stressed the importance of holding Russia accountable for the destruction in Ukraine, including efforts to freeze Russian assets for Ukraine's reconstruction. Borrell concluded by emphasizing that the strongest security commitment the EU can provide to Ukraine is EU membership, reaffirming Ukraine's candidacy and commitment to this path. He clarified that there is no concept of partial or fractional membership—membership means full membership.

#Kyiv#European Union#Dmytro Kuleba

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