By Marcel Gascón
Kviv, Oct 2 (EFE).- The European Union on Monday set aside the differences between some of its member states over military and economic aid to Ukraine, staking a claim at an unprecedented meeting of its foreign ministers in Kyiv as Ukraine’s main and strongest supporter.
“We remain united, I do not see any member state wavering in its commitment to Ukraine,” said the EU’s foreign policy and security chief Josep Borrell when asked about calls from some in the EU to stop sending aid to Ukraine.
Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares, who was also representing Spain as the current EU presidency, said “we all agreed that we have to continue supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary,” said Albares, who added that this support also includes “helping Ukraine on its way to the European Union.”
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the “consensus” among all his EU colleagues on the need to help Ukraine accelerate its path to European integration.
The public events at the meeting saw questions from journalists about the recent approval by the United States Congress on a budget extension that does not include items for aid to Ukraine.
Although both Borrell and Kuleba were confident that the US legislature would reach an agreement to ensure the continued flow of aid, the EU’s foreign policy chief stressed the reliability and volume of European assistance.
“The EU is and remains Ukraine’s first supporter,” Borrell wrote on social media.
Upon his arrival at the meeting, Borrell made it clear that no concrete decisions would be made at the informal gathering, which the Spanish politician defined as a “brainstorming” session.
But, Borrell said, the fact that the EU foreign ministers met for the first time in its history outside the borders of the bloc itself, in a country and a capital at war that are bombed daily, is a powerful message, both for Ukraine and Russia.
It is a message that Kuleba was keen to highlight: “Glad to welcome EU foreign ministers at the historic meeting in Ukraine. For the first time in history, outside current EU borders. But also within its future borders. I am grateful to the European Union and personally to
Josep Borrell for the unwavering EU support for Ukraine,” Ukraine’s top diplomat said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
After the meeting, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on X that he had spoken on the phone with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “to coordinate positions”, a sign of the ever-closer ties between Kyiv and Brussels.
For his part, Kuleba called on his EU colleagues to approve a new package of sanctions against Russia, focused on its military and nuclear industries and containing measures to prevent Moscow from circumventing the sanctions already in place.
Member states also pledged to continue sending arms and ammunition, and to work, with the support of the European Commission, on developing joint production of military hardware.
Beyond symbolism, the first touchstone for Ukraine’s European aspirations will come at the end of this year, when member states decide whether the country is ready for accession negotiations to begin. EFE