In his first trip in 2022, High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell travelled to Ukraine on 4-6 January. It was the first time an HRVP went to eastern Ukraine and to the line of contact.
During the visit, HRVP Borrell reaffirmed that the European Union remains the most reliable partner of Ukraine during this critical time and reconfirmed the EU’s continued support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in light of the Russian military build-up along its border with Ukraine.
The visit to the line of contact, together with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba, provided the opportunity for the HRVP to see first-hand the dramatic consequences of the conflict and its impact on the lives of people over the last eight years. In this context, he commended the work of International Organisations, NGOs and the Ukrainian Government working on the ground.
HRVP Borrell recalled that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe cost for Russia, and highlighted the EU’s coordination with the U.S., NATO and other likeminded partners. He underlined the need for Russia to de-escalate tensions immediately and to fully implement the Minsk agreements. He also expressed clear support to conflict resolution efforts and to the work of the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy format.
HRVP Borrell confirmed that there is no security in Europe without the security of Ukraine and any discussions on European and Ukrainian security must include the European Union and Ukraine. He added that these discussions should build on and strengthen OSCE and UN commitments and obligations.
Today in Kyiv, HRVP Borrell met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to discuss the present security situation and EU-Ukraine relations. He highlighted the importance of comprehensive reforms as a means of strengthening Ukraine’s resilience, in the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and recalled the political, financial and economic support, over €17 billion, provided to Ukraine since the beginning of conflict in 2014.
The visit takes place at a critical moment ahead of next week’s informal Council of Foreign Affairs Council [the Gymnich meeting] and an informal Council with Defence Ministers, as well as the start of discussions between Russia, the U.S. and NATO.