The priority of the European Union and its member states remains the support of Ukraine, since the EU cannot allow Russia to win this aggressive war.
“Our priority remains to support Ukraine – with weapons, ammunition, training of Ukrainian servicemen, military and financial aid. I know that in public opinion in Europe there are people who say: “The longer you support Ukraine, the longer the war will last, so if you want to stop the war, you have to stop supporting Ukraine. And the war will end.” Probably. But how will it end? This is an important question. It cannot end with Russia winning and occupying Ukraine, turning it into the model of Belarus. So we have to help them (Ukrainians. — Ed.) defend themselves.” , – stressed Borrell.
He noted that 10 months have passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia was unable to capture the territory of Ukraine, although it tried to do so, but was repulsed. Instead, Russian troops began to carry out systematic bombing of critical infrastructure, mainly electricity and water supply systems, shelling everything that could work.
“They (Russians. – Ed.) want to condemn millions of people to cold and darkness. This systematic bombing of civilian infrastructure can be considered a war crime, because it is carried out against the civilian population, they are not fighting against the army, they want to bring the country to its knees. In under these conditions, Europeans should continue to support Ukraine,” Borrell emphasized.
He recalled that last week he visited the EUMAM Military Assistance Mission and talked with Ukrainian servicemen who arrived there for training and then returned to Ukraine to participate in battles.
“They are fighting for the survival of their country, but as we say, they are also fighting for what we stand for in terms of values and security. If that’s the case, and I’m sure it is, then it’s the least we can do , – to support them with military equipment and training, which we are doing, and which we, as I believe, we should continue to do,” the high representative of the EU emphasized.
Borrell acknowledged that Russian aggression against Ukraine raised difficult security and defense issues for the European Union itself and revealed a critical shortcoming in Europe’s defense capabilities.
“The war in Ukraine was a rude awakening for all of us. We realized that our military supplies were quickly depleted, and this was the result of years of underfunding. When we started providing military aid to Ukraine, it did not come from factories, it came from our military warehouses . These stocks were quickly exhausted, the warehouses were almost empty,” the high representative of the EU noted.
He emphasized that the high level of threats that Europe is currently facing requires a high level of response to them. That is why EU countries should continue to increase their defense budgets and jointly invest in the development of critical defense capabilities that European countries lack today.