The European Union agreed Sunday to step up assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s intervention with the bloc’s foreign ministers unanimously agreeing to spend hundreds of millions of euros to purchase lethal arms for the country as well as on non-lethal supplies such as fuel.
Speaking at a news conference following an extraordinary meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell delivered remarks on the steps to be taken by the EU amid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
“We have decided to use our capacities to provide lethal arms, lethal assistance, to the Ukrainian army at a value of €450 million ($502 million) in a support package and €50 million ($56 million) for non-lethal supplies, fuel, (and) protective equipment,” he said.
Borrell said the EU was even going to provide fighter jets to Ukraine, not just ammunition, adding Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was asking for warplanes that the Ukrainian army would be able to operate and some EU member states have these kind of jets.
He further noted that the EU would also expand the peoples and entities that will be subjected to restricted measures which include Russian oligarchs and businessmen as well as political figures playing key roles in Russia’s political system.
“We are afraid that Russia is not going to stop in Ukraine, and the Russian influence can start working in the neighboring countries of Moldova and Georgia and also will have an impact on the western Balkans. So we have to pay a lot of attention to what’s happening there,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine last Thursday, days after recognizing two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine. He claimed that Moscow had no plan to occupy its neighbor but wanted to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine.
In response, Western powers have imposed financial sanctions on Moscow, and the EU has decided to fund arms supplies to Ukraine, close its airspace to Russian airlines and ban Russian state media.
At least 368,000 Ukrainians have fled the country since the beginning of the attack, according to the UN Refugee Agency.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.