Josep Borrell in kyiv, Ukraine, February 7, 2024. (AFP / ROMAN PILIPEY)
“A defeat for Ukraine” would mean “the Russian army on the border of Europe”, alarmed the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, in an interview with AFP this Thursday February 8.
“Europe must understand that the war in Ukraine also concerns
their own safety.”
This Thursday, February 8, in an interview with AFP, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell made a point of reminding us why European aid to kyiv is essential in the face of the Russian offensive.
“It is not only because the Ukrainians are our friends, but because
the security of Europe is at stake here”,
he explained. “There is an educational task to be done especially before the European elections, to explain what it is about, why we are helping Ukraine, and to understand what a defeat for Ukraine could mean:
that means the Russian army on the border of Europe;
this means that Putin may think that if he won once, why couldn’t he win a second time against another neighbor; This would mean that Russia controls 35% of all global wheat markets. There are perspectives that people need to know,” Josep Borrell was alarmed.
For months, the Ukrainian authorities have been demanding rapid deliveries of ammunition, essential for their army to resist Russian assaults. Europe has already supplied in almost two years
some 28 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine,
as the head of European diplomacy underlined on Tuesday February 6 and Wednesday February 7 in kyiv, in front of his Ukrainian interlocutors.
“We feel this shortage of ammunition every day”
Volodymyr Zelensky “asked for more ammunition, drones and air defense systems”, Josep Borrell admitted on Wednesday on X (ex-Twitter), after his interview with the Ukrainian president. His Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba did not say anything else, urging the European Union
to quickly “increase” its deliveries of artillery shells,
during a press conference alongside the head of European diplomacy. “We feel this shortage of ammunition every day,” he recalled. The Ukrainian forces are saving their shells against Russian forces who, for their part,
get five times more
than Ukrainian gunners, according to experts.
The Europeans committed last year to
provide one million shells by the end of March,
but they only achieved a little more than half of that goal. Josep Borrell, however, assured his interlocutors that they would provide
1.15 million by the end of the year.
The head of European diplomacy also recalled his proposal
additional military aid of five billion euros,
to strengthen Ukrainian armaments. “I hope for an agreement from the 27 at the end of the month,” he said. This aid must be used to reimburse the countries which purchase weapons for the benefit of Ukraine. But some member states, including Germany, are still reluctant. Berlin particularly contests the method of reimbursement, which the EU wants to trigger after delivery, preferring payment upon its commitment to acquire these weapons.
Ukrainian army chief suggests expanding use of drones
Ukraine must prepare for a
possible drop in aid from its allies,
declared for his part the head of the army Valery Zalouzhny in a forum for
published last week. To answer this, he suggests, among other things,
develop the use of drones
“whose use has become widespread” since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. President Zelensky, who is said to be in open conflict with General Zalouzhny, seems to have heard it, by signing on Wednesday a decree creating a separate branch within the Ukrainian armed forces dedicated to drones.
The Ukrainian authorities also showed the head of European diplomacy how they intended to go about
strengthen their capacity in this weapon,
now omnipresent on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides. Josep Borrell was invited on Tuesday to go to a factory manufacturing drones, saying on his return he was “really surprised” by the Ukrainians’ ability to produce them “in large numbers” at a very limited cost. “Two years ago, Ukraine had seven drone factories,
today she has hundreds”,
he declared in front of Ukrainian deputies.