European Union recognizes Russia as a party to the conflict in the Donbas

9 January 2022, 07:03 PM

Russia is a party to the armed conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, and any discussion on Ukraine’s security shall take place only with the participation of its representatives, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote in a blog posted on the EU’s diplomatic service website on Jan. 9.

“There is no doubt that Russia is a party to this conflict, and not an intermediary, as it often claims,” Borrell wrote.

“Our primary interest and goal is to force Russia to de-escalate tensions.”

He said the full implementation of the Minsk Protocol by Russia was a fundamental condition for de-escalation. Borrell said he believes that dialogue is necessary, but at the same time, European governments will need to show determination in supporting Ukraine's sovereignty.

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“Any further aggression against Ukraine will have serious consequences and huge costs for Russia. We are closely coordinating our approach with transatlantic and other partners. There is no security in Europe without Ukraine’s security,” the diplomat added.

Borrell visited Ukraine on Jan. 4-6, including the line of separation, the name given to the line that separates Ukrainian government-controlled territory from the non-government controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

At the end of December 2021, Borrell said that he wanted to propose the creation of an EU military training mission in Ukraine.

In February-March 2014, after the fall of the regime of President Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine, Russia carried out a special operation to annex Crimea, instigated a puppet separatist movement in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and launched direct military invasions in August 2014 and February 2015.

Russia continues to fuel the war in Donbas with money and weapons, having created a standing army in the occupied territories consisting of professional Russian regular army officers, Russian citizens, and local recruits.

Currently, around 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be stationed on the Russian-Ukrainian border, sparking fears of a further Russian invasion into Ukraine.

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