Europe makes a move in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced this Monday 1,200 million euros in aid to Ukraine through a new financial support package that comes in full tension with Russia due to the military deployment in the area near the border. Amid the alarm generated by a possible Russian invasion, Von der Leyen has put on the table a package that includes grants and emergency loans for Kiev to address “the financial needs of the conflict.” In this sense, the leader of the European Executive has asked the European Parliament for speed to give the plan its approval soon and proceed to disburse a first tranche of 600 million in the coming weeks.
As the German conservative has recalled, in recent years Brussels’ commitment to the modernization of the Eastern European country has has materialized with significant financial aid. Since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, the EU has backed Kiev with €17 billion. The announcement comes as EU foreign ministers in Brussels discuss a common position in an attempt to show firmness in the face of Russia’s challenge to the European security architecture.
The Twenty-seven are working internally on a package of sanctions, which in the words of Von der Leyen they will be “massive” and unprecedented. For the moment, the EU has avoided giving more details, indicating that it is an ongoing process and that concrete announcements cannot be expected from this Monday’s meeting.
Spain is on the side of diplomacy
For his part, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, on Monday defended diplomacy and dialogue to address rising tensions with Russia, which concentrates tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine, which has raised alarms about an attack on the neighboring country.
In statements to the press -reported by Efe- before the meeting of EU foreign ministers this Monday in Brussels, Albares has assured that Russia’s threat against Ukraine puts “European security at stake” and it goes against the principles with which Europe has been built. For this reason, the Spanish minister has demanded to face the challenge posed by Moscow from the unity of the Twenty-seven and prioritizing “diplomacy, détente, de-escalation and deterrence”.
Rule out withdrawing embassy staff
Despite the escalation of tension, the European Union has announced that for the time being it will not reduce the staff of its embassy in Ukraine, unlike what the United States decided. This was stated on Monday by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, who has askeddon’t dramatize.”We will not do the same, because we do not have any specific reason (…) I do not think we have to dramatize as long as the negotiations continue and are continuing. I don’t think we have to leave Ukraine,” Borrell said upon arrival. to the meeting that the EU foreign ministers are holding in Brussels.
The heads of European diplomacy will hold a telematic meeting with the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blink, in which he will explain his meeting on Friday with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and the reasons why he has ordered to reduce the staff of the American Embassy in Kiev.