EU Foreign Council: ‘Ukraine needs the arms now, not next year’, says Borrell
May 28, 2024

EU Foreign Council: ‘Ukraine needs the arms now, not next year’, says Borrell

On 28 April, the Council of the European Union discussed EU assistance to Ukraine. 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, joined the Council via videoconference to explain the situation on the ground, including providing details on Russia’s attack last Saturday on a shopping centre in Kharkiv.

“Putin is talking about peace negotiations, but his armies are launching another offensive against Kharkiv. They are shelling crowded civilian buildings, and try to undermine the upcoming Swiss Summit on Peace,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said at the press conference after the meeting.  

Borrell added that the EU fully supports this Summit, organised by Switzerland, following a request from Ukraine. He said that the EU is working to ensure the “broadest possible participation”.

Borrell also admitted that EU military support for Ukraine is facing “some obstacles to reach the necessary unanimity to make it effective”, and that the Ukrainian Assistance Fund, approved already in March, is still not operational. 

“Ukraine needs the arms now, not next year. And we are already in a long delay which has a specific cause, which is the disagreement among Member States – and, in particular, one of them – [about how] to reach the necessary consensus,” said Borrell. 

In conclusion, the EU High Representative expressed the hope that the EU would soon finalise its long-term commitments to Ukraine’s security, which would include, inter alia, security and defence aspects.

“The blockage of the decision has to be proportionate to the issue at stake. And in this case, providing military support to Ukraine is one of the most important issues – one of the most important commitments – that we have to fulfil,” Borrell said. 

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