Dialogue on Ukraine must be accompanied by tough measures to deter Russia - Borrell

Dialogue on Ukraine must be accompanied by tough measures to deter Russia - Borrell

The European Union sees the main goal of all diplomatic efforts in reducing tensions around Ukraine and making Russia de-escalate, but in this context any dialogue with Russia must be accompanied by tough deterrence and a clear stance on the high cost of its further military aggression.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell wrote about this in a blog published on the website of the European External Action Service following his recent visit to Ukraine, which included a trip to the line of contact in the zone of hostilities.

"Overall, tensions have been building up with respect to the European security. (…) I stressed that our main interest, concern and purpose is to get Russia to de-escalate tensions. The full implementation of the Minsk agreement by Russia remains a fundamental condition. We will continue to support diplomatic efforts to revive conflict resolution in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group (Russia, Ukraine and OSCE) and the Normandy format (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany). It is equally important that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission can fully undertake its mandate," Borrell said.

He stressed that dialogue is a must, “but so is deterrence and resolve through a firm support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Any further aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs for Russia, Borrell wrote, adding that the EU is “coordinating our approach closely with transatlantic and other like-minded partners.”

“There is no security in Europe without the security of Ukraine. Beyond Ukraine, the whole European security architecture is at stake. The Russian leadership, by deliberately excluding any reference to the EU from the ‘draft treaties’ they presented last December, seems to intend to turn the clock backward to the old times of Cold War logics. The Russian proposals reflect indeed the position of Russian authorities aiming to roll back evolutions that took place since 1990,” the EU high representative wrote.

Read also: Moscow party to armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, EU’s Borrell acknowledges

He stressed that through such moves, the Russian leadership aims to undermine European unity, violating the independence and sovereignty of the former Soviet nations. According to him, this type of delimitation of spheres of influence “does not belong in 2022: there cannot be a Yalta 2.”

“These times have definitely passed and we need to be clear that nothing will be discussed about the security in Europe without the Europeans. We agreed with the US and our partners that such discussions will continue in coordination with, and participation of the EU. In addition, there should be no limits placed on Ukraine’s independence or its right to determine its foreign policy choices. And, of course, any discussion about Ukraine must require Ukraine to be at the table,” the EU top diplomat wrote.

As reported earlier, on January 4-6, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell paid a visit to Ukraine where, together with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, he took a trip to the line of contact in Luhansk region.

The EU chief diplomat was briefed on the current security situation in the zone of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.


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