‘No security in Europe without security in Ukraine,’ says Borrell

6 January 2022, 05:49 AM

Security in Europe cannot be guaranteed unless security is assured in Ukraine, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has said during his visit to Ukraine.

The visit to Ukraine is the EU diplomat’s first official trip outside of the European Union in 2022. Speaking as he arrived, Borrell pledged the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine.

Borrell started his official visit to Ukraine in Kharkiv on Jan. 4.

Borrell plans to travel to Kyiv after visiting the town of Stanytsia Luhanska, a city on the frontlines of Ukraine’s conflict with Russia in the Donbas.

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The visit comes against the backdrop of a Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s eastern border and in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.

“Since the beginning of the conflict in 2014, EU has been standing by side with Ukraine and will continue to do so,” Borell posted on Twitter on Jan.5.

“There is no security of Europe without security in Ukraine and any discussions on European and Ukrainian security must include the European Union and Ukraine,” he wrote.

Borrell added that any further military aggression against Ukraine by Russia would have massive consequences for Moscow. The EU official said that Russia needs to de-escalate the situation and stick to the Minsk agreements.

On Jan. 5 Borrell and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba headed for the demarcation line in Donbas, separating Russian-occupied parts of the region from the rest of Ukraine.

Russia started its massive military build-up on Ukraine’s eastern border in October 2021. The Head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov reported on Dec. 22 there were over 120,000 Russian troops deployed within 200 kilometers of the Ukrainian border.

Western media envisage the possibility of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. It would involve a massive force of up to 200,000 Russian troops.

On Dec. 30 Danilov, stated that Ukrainian authorities did not foresee a direct Russian invasion, though earlier that month, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov predicted a surge in Russian military aggression might come against Ukraine in late January 2022.

Moscow has denied any plans for a large-scale invasion. At the same time, Russia has issued an ultimatum to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, demanding a ban on possible Ukrainian membership of NATO and the removal of any NATO troops and weaponry that may currently be in-country.

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