Brussels, (EFE) Hungary to a new disbursement of 500 million euros to co-finance weapons for Kiev.
“The success of the defense of Ukraine depends not only on the courage of its soldiers and its people, but also on the rate of delivery of arms and ammunition,” Borrell said at a press conference at the end of a Foreign Council.
For this reason, he urged to “continue, increase and expand” the military support of the EU, also in the field of air defense and assured that the work put in place to supply arms, ammunition and missiles so that Ukraine can “defend their territory and sovereignty” and asserted that each delay “is measured in human lives.”
Ukraine is expected to launch its counter-offensive against the occupying Russian forces soon.
Borrell celebrated that the G7, at their recent summit, decided to “prepare the ground to provide Ukraine with the fighters it needs” giving the green light to the training of Ukrainian pilots, and he hoped that Kiev could have F16 fighter jets “soon” .
“There has not been a debate about a type of weapon, much less about airplanes,” the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, commented for his part at a press conference.
15,000 soldiers have already completed the training
With regard to the mission that the EU launched in various Member States to train Ukrainian soldiers, Borrell announced that 15,000 have already completed this training and that he hopes that many more will do so by the end of the year.
What the ministers could not promote today was the disbursement of a new tranche of 500 million euros from the European Peace Support Fund -of which 3,600 million have already been assigned to Ukraine- to co-finance the shipment of arms to Kiev.
Hungary blocks that possibility as long as Ukraine keeps the largest Magyar bank, the OTP, on its list of international sponsors of the war.
Borrell called for a dialogue on this matter at the multilateral level between the Member States or bilaterally between Hungary and Ukraine, and for “doing everything possible to maintain this military aid package.”
Punish the evasion of sanctions
The ministers also addressed today the next package of sanctions that the EU provides against Russia for having invaded Ukraine, the eleventh, focused on penalizing companies from third countries that help Russian companies to avoid European restrictive measures, especially with the sale of dual-use, civil and military products.
The decision of the G7 to impose new sanctions in this sense, will condition the work within the EU that, for the moment, have encountered resistance from several Member States when proposing to point out third countries whose companies engage in this behavior.
The sights are set on getting this new package ready for the summit of the leaders of the Twenty-seven that will be held at the end of June, according to what the French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, pointed out today.
Refined Indian oil of Russian origin
Borrell was asked about his statements last week in which he warned that buying Russian refined oil from India makes European sanctions less effective, and asked European governments to “take action” in this regard.
The head of community diplomacy assured today that he has not blamed the Indian government and recalled that European sanctions “are not extraterritorial”. In any case, he celebrated that Russia has to be selling its oil cheaper to others because of the restrictive community measures.
Extraordinary increase in European exports to countries neighboring Russia
Borrell did draw attention to the extraordinary increase in European exports to Russia’s neighboring countries, such as those in Central Asia, and assured that it is not unreasonable to imagine that European products can be re-exported to Russian territory, making it easier for Moscow to evade European sanctions. .
“We have looked, above all, at how sanctions circumvention can be prevented more effectively and, of course, continuing to look at sectors where we can prevent (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war effort from continuing for longer,” Albares said.
Notice to non-aligned countries
The foreign ministers of the Western Balkan countries also participated in a working lunch with the Europeans.
Borrell reminded those who are not aligned with the Community Foreign Policy, “not only Serbia”, that “maintaining close ties with Russia is not compatible with its process of accession to the EU”.