EU foreign ministers attending a historic meeting in Kiev on Monday, October 2, assured Ukraine of their long-term support and reaffirmed the prospects of its membership in the EU.
This is the first time that the heads of diplomatic agencies have met in such a format outside the EU. On the eve of the meeting, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss President Volodymyr Zelensky’s peace formula and to discuss further support for Ukraine by EU countries.
Diplomats and the media called the meeting historic because it was held for the first time in Ukraine, a country that aspires to become part of the EU. And judging by the final statements, it is closer to this than ever.
The best summary of the historic ministerial meeting can be the statement of German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock: «The EU will stretch from Lisbon to Luhansk». EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said: «The most serious security guarantees we can offer Ukraine are EU membership». According to him, the Russian Federation does not seem to be going to stop its aggression, but this does not mean that its support for Ukraine will weaken. On the contrary, the support will increase.
Thus, the chief European diplomat noted that by the end of 2023, a decision on long-term financial support for Ukraine in the amount of 5 billion euros per year will be made. And within the next three months, 40 thousand Ukrainian military personnel will complete training and education in Europe. In addition, the EU is at the finishing line of developing a special procedure for the transfer of frozen Russian assets in favor of Ukraine, as well as tightening sanctions pressure on Russia for continued unjustified aggression.
The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell summarized the meeting of the EU Council of Ministers with the following words: «When we are together, we are stronger. The EU has been and remains Ukraine’s first supporter.» And in fact, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Europe has twice surpassed the United States in terms of pledged long-term aid to Ukraine and has come out on top.
The meeting of EU diplomatic chiefs in Kyiv is a demonstration to the world that the EU views Ukraine as an integral part of the European community and is ready to further support the Ukrainian people in their struggle for their own independence, for common European values and for the security of the whole of Europe.