AP : Some of Europe’s top diplomats gathered Monday in Kyiv in a display of support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion, as signs emerge of political strain in Europe and the United States over the 19-month-long war.
European Union foreign ministers converged on the Ukrainian capital for an unannounced informal meeting that officials said would review the bloc’s support for Ukraine and discuss Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s proposed peace formula.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the foreign ministers’ first joint meeting outside EU borders signaled that the 27-nation bloc’s support is “unwavering,” and underscored the EU’s commitment to Ukraine.
“I am convening today the EU Foreign Ministers in Kyiv, for the first-ever meeting of all 27 Member States outside the EU,” the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a post on social media platform X on Monday.
“Ukraine’s future lies within the EU,” he added.
The United States, the EU and the United Kingdom have provided massive military and financial support to Ukraine, enabling it to stand up to the Kremlin’s attack.
The assistance is crucial for Ukraine’s weakened economy and has so far been open-ended.
Top officials from EU capitals have often visited Kyiv since the beginning of the war, but this is the first time an official EU summit is being held in the Ukrainian capital.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hailed the ministers’ meeting “within future borders” of the EU in a post on social media platform X.
“Glad to welcome EU foreign ministers at the historic meeting in Ukraine,” he said, adding: “For the first time in history, outside current EU borders. But also within its future borders.”
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said the meeting was a signal to Moscow of the bloc’s determination to support Ukraine over the long term.
“It is a demonstration of our resolute and lasting support for Ukraine, until it can win.
It is also a message to Russia that it should not count on our weariness.
We will be there for a long time to come,” she told reporters in Kyiv.
The EU member states, along with the United Kingdom and the United States, have provided massive military and financial support to Ukraine, enabling it to stand up to the Russian offensive.
Monday’s meeting comes days after the US Congress blocked new aid for Ukraine in a government spending deal despite calls from the White House in the opposite direction.
As uncertainty sets in over how long Kyiv’s allies will keep sending billions of dollars for the war, Kuleba said that Washington’s support for Ukraine was not weakening.