For the first time since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, representatives of all 27 EU states traveled to Kiev at the same time.
Such a meeting outside the EU would be a first, said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. The discussions should focus on the current situation in view of the Russian war of aggression and the EU’s support for Ukraine. For the German department head Annalena Baerbock, it is the second visit to Ukraine within a few weeks. She was last in Ukraine on September 11th.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the message of the meeting was that the European Union was expanding into Ukraine and we were very grateful for that. The “historic event” takes place outside the current EU borders, but within the future EU borders. As was usual during the Russian war of aggression, the trip was not announced in advance for security reasons. Borrell wrote on X that the future of Ukraine lies in the EU.
Borrell: No decision on fighter jets and missiles
As a topic for the EU meeting, Borrell had previously mentioned his proposal to make longer-term financing commitments for military aid to Ukraine and to use EU money to support the delivery of modern fighter jets and missiles. He wants to mobilize five billion euros annually from 2024 to the end of 2027.
A decision is not expected in Kiev, the Spaniard said on Sunday. Such informal ministerial meetings are about political discussions. The European support comes at a time when funding for US aid is in limbo because of a budget dispute in Washington.
Against the background of a possible shutdown, a very in-depth discussion (…) is being held with the Republicans and the Democrats, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba on the sidelines of the meeting. So far there is no feeling that the US commitments no longer stand. “The United States understands that there is much more at stake in Ukraine than just Ukraine,” Kuleba said.
It’s about the stability and predictability of the world and that’s why he is convinced that we will be able to find the necessary solutions, said Kuleba. He thinks that what happened in Congress over the weekend was just an incident.
Baerbock’s second visit in three weeks
The meeting is also likely to focus on Ukraine’s EU accession prospects. The country has been officially a candidate for membership since June 2022. However, the 27 EU states still have to decide unanimously about whether to start negotiations. There should be a positive vote if Ukraine has met certain requirements. This includes a stronger fight against corruption.
While ministers from most EU countries traveled to Kiev, a deputy foreign minister was announced for today from the important neighboring country Poland. The close relationship is currently strained due to a Polish import ban on Ukrainian grain. Even from Hungary, which is friendly to Russia, only one high-ranking diplomat was expected.