EU Foreign Ministers fly to Kiev for a show of unity – almost.
After the funding legislation clash almost led to a US government shutdown, no additional funding for Ukraine was included in the emergency bill.
Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, Slovakia, a neighboring member of NATO country held elections that put a leader in place – Robert Fico – that has vowed to stop all military funding to Ukraine.
Most EU foreign ministers convened in Kyiv to mark their support, and give Ukraine a ‘positive-agenda’ platform.
Kyiv downplayed the troubles accumulating on both sides of the Atlantic, especially the danger that the U.S. Congressional vote excluding aid to Ukraine may represente a deeper change in policy.
“‘We don’t feel that the U.S support has been shattered… because the United States understands that what is at stake in Ukraine is much bigger than just Ukraine’, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters as he greeted the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.”
The failed Ukrainian counter-offensive has led to a much more pessimistic outlook worldwide, so Kiev need to try and maintain the momentum – which is proving very hard to do.
“‘I am sure that Ukraine and the entire free world are capable of winning this confrontation. But our victory depends directly on our cooperation with you’, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the ministers, according to his website.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants the EU to help prepare Ukraine for the winter.
“‘Last winter, we saw the brutal way in which the Russian president is waging this war’, said Baerbock. ‘We must prevent this together with everything we have, as far as possible’.”
The EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrel, dismissed concerns about political divisions in the bloc over its long-term support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia.
Associated Press reported:
“Though largely symbolic, the informal meeting between EU and Ukrainian diplomats demonstrated the EU’s ‘clear commitment’ to Ukraine in its 19-month-long war, Josep Borrell said.
‘The EU remains united in its support to Ukraine… I don’t see any member state folding on their engagement’, Borrell told a news conference in the Ukrainian capital.
[…] Borrell, at his news conference, insisted the EU is devoted to ‘sustained engagement’ with Ukraine. ‘Our resolve is firm and will continue’, he said.”
He paraded the ongoing commitments the 27-nation EU hopes to make, including proposed military aid of 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) next year.
“But the EU’s ‘strongest security commitment’ for Ukraine is to grant it membership of the bloc, he said.”
Ukraine wants to becoming a member of the EU, and officials have encouraged that course, but it will take many years, especially during a war.
Meanwhile Hungary’s is still vetoing €500 million ‘European Peace Facility’ funds.
“I have proposed a new multi-annual bilateral allocation of the European Peace Facility, up to five billion for next year,” Borrell said at a joint press conference with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba. “I hope we can reach an agreement before the end of the year.”
Borrell ‘hopes’. Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto was conspicuously absent as 26 other members of the bloc sent foreign ministers for a surprise meeting in Kiev. A deputy represented Budapest, according to EuroNews.
“The EU remains united in its support for Ukraine,” Borrell insisted at the press conference. “We remain united. I do not see any member state reneging in its commitment to support Ukraine with the tools we have.”
The EU has sent Ukraine more than €25 billion ($26.4 billion) in military aid since February 2022, while the total amount of military, financial, and humanitarian support has reached €85 billion ($89.8 billion)
Read more about it: