Brussels, Oct 21 (EFE).- European Union leaders pledged on Friday to have a “united and determined” response to any deliberate attacks on critical infrastructure and announced it would provide Ukraine with 1.5 billion euros ($1.47 billion) per month in economic aid starting next year.
“The European Council strongly condemns the acts of sabotage against critical infrastructure, such as those against the Nord Stream pipelines,” the Council said in a statement following a two day Summit in Brussels.
“The European Union will meet any deliberate disruption of critical infrastructure or other hybrid actions with a united and determined response,” it added.
The EU Council added that it strongly condemned Russia’s escalating aggression in Ukraine and blamed the Kremlin for the current energy and economic crisis.
“The European Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent indiscriminate Russian missile and drone attacks targeting civilians and civilian objects and infrastructure in Kyiv and across Ukraine.
“It reiterates that Russia bears the sole responsibility for the current energy and economic crises,” the Council said.
EU leaders also discussed providing Ukraine with a “predictable and stable” flow of income to make sure it has enough resources to defend itself from Russia.
“It is very important for Ukraine to have a predictable and stable flow of income,” the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told reporters in a closing press conference.
“Therefore, the discussion was about 1.5 billion per month for Ukraine financed by the European Union,” she continued to say, adding that this would amount to 18 billion euros ($17.6 billion) of aid next year.
“It was important to give this signal to Ukraine that we very well know how important this reliable flow of income is,” von der Leyen said.
The Commission chief added that Ukraine had other needs that had to be addressed, including humanitarian aid for the some 11 million internally displaced people who need access to water, electricity, heating and shelter.
“We have announced that we will provide further 175 million ($171 million) euros for food, for shelter for health support and education,” von der Leyen said. EFE