Borrell: War Not Imminent, Urges Support for Ukraine

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, asserted on Thursday that a potential conflict instigated by Russia against the member states of the European community "is not imminent." He urged an end to exaggerations on this matter, as reported by the EFE agency.

Borrell emphasised upon his arrival at the European leaders' summit in Brussels that while it is prudent for Europeans to be aware of the challenges they face, it is imperative not to amplify them unduly. He clarified, "War is not imminent. I hear some voices suggesting otherwise, but this is not the case."

"We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and must prepare ourselves for the future by enhancing our defence capabilities and the capacity of our defence industry," insisted the head of European diplomacy. "However, we must avoid unnecessarily alarming the populace. War is not imminent."

Borrell stressed the urgency of supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, highlighting the importance of safeguarding Ukrainian civilians amidst the ongoing turmoil. He reaffirmed European commitment to Ukraine, stating, "We are not participants in this conflict, but we stand firmly in support of Ukraine's sovereignty and security."

Reflecting on the assistance provided to Ukraine since Russia's aggression in February 2022, Borrell noted that the EU has thus far allocated 31 billion euros in military aid, with an additional 20 billion euros earmarked for this year.

Furthermore, Borrell expressed confidence that European leaders at the summit would endorse his proposal to utilise revenues from frozen Russian assets in the EU for the procurement of weapons for Ukraine and bolstering its defence industry.

Addressing the EU's failure to fulfil its commitment to supply Ukraine with one million 155 mm calibre shells by March of the previous year, Borrell clarified that approximately 500,000 shells have been delivered thus far.

"Including exports and trade relations, the European industry has produced an additional 400,000 shells for Ukraine's defence," Borrell added. "However, the demands of this conflict, characterised by substantial ammunition consumption, necessitate continued support."

Translation by Iurie Tataru

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