In his first trip in 2022, EU High Representative Josep Borrell travelled to Ukraine on 4-6 January. It was the first time by a High Representative to eastern Ukraine and to the line of contact.
During the visit, Borrell reaffirmed that the European Union remains Ukraine’s most reliable partner during this critical time and reconfirmed the EU’s continued support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in light of the Russian military build-up along its border.
Together with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba, Borrell visited the Stanytsya Luhanska entry-exit checkpoint on the line of contact, opened last November with EU support.
In his blog published after the trip, Borrell said the visit was an opportunity to witness at first hand the consequences of the war in the Donbass region: “I could hear and see how the conflict has dramatically affected the lives of thousands of people, with many destinies destroyed; families divided living on both sides of the contact line and many obstacles to access basic services and work. However, I was also impressed by the daily work done by the Ukrainian government, the international organisations, and NGOs.”
The High Representative recalled that any further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost for Russia that “is a party to this conflict, and not a mediator as it often claims”. He added that there is no security in Europe without the security of Ukraine and any discussions on European and Ukrainian security must include the EU and Ukraine.
In Kyiv, Borrell met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to discuss the present security situation and EU-Ukraine relations. He highlighted the importance of comprehensive reforms and recalled the political, financial and economic support, over €17 billion, provided by the EU to Ukraine since the beginning of conflict in 2014.
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