Borrell at the Munich Conference: to arm Ukraine is the first and most urgent matter

Published in World
Tuesday, 21 February 2023 11:32

The European Union has to increase and accelerate its military support to Ukraine, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in his speech at the Munich Security Conference that took place from 17 to 19 February.

He said that this is “the first and most urgent thing that a geopolitical Europe has to do”, because Ukraine is critically short of ammunition, adding that this “a matter of weeks”

“We have been taking too much time to take critical decisions for providing battle tanks. And this, when everybody knows that to win a war, a classical war, with trenches, and heavy arms, you need battle tanks, you will not win this war without these kinds of arms,” said Borrell.

He added that EU Ministers of Defence have to take this kind of decision at the upcoming meeting on 7-8 March, where the European Commission “will propose to accelerate the process that is already ongoing”

As a medium-term case, he cited the need to further increase the defence capabilities of EU countries, but added that “this will not happen overnight”.

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Press release

EU Foreign Ministers agree extra €500 million in military support to Ukraine

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 20 July 2022 12:25

On 19 July, the EU Foreign Affairs Council reached political agreement on an additional  €500 million in military support for Ukraine under the European Peace Facility (EPF). This disbursement will bring the total amount of military support under the EPF to €2.5 billion.

“Russia is trying to destroy Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation, and at the same time unleash a global food and energy crisis,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell. “Ministers unanimously agreed on the need to continue to stand firmly with Ukraine and lend it all our support in its fight for freedom and independence. Ukraine needs more arms, we will provide them.”

At the beginning of the meeting, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed EU ministers via video conference, and briefed them about the latest developments on the ground.

The Council also confirmed that it would continue its work on restrictive measures on the basis of a joint proposal from the European Commission and the High Representative, including measures to close loopholes and avoid circumvention. Josep Borrell said that EU sanctions work and the Russian economy is severely affected.

The ministers also said that the EU would continue to support Ukraine in implementing its reform agenda within the European perspective, after it was recently granted the status of candidate country by the European Council. The next EU-Ukraine Association Council should take place on 5 September 2022.

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Press release

Borrell: ‘Moscow will have to choose either butter or guns’

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 06 July 2022 17:19

In an article published in the French newspaper ‘Le Journal du Dimanche’, the EU High Representative Josep Borrell said the sanctions against Russia, implemented after the start of the full-scale aggression against Ukraine are already hitting Vladimir Putin and his accomplices hard, and their impact on the Russian economy will intensify over time. 

Borrell explains why and how Western sanctions against Russia are more effective than most people think. Although Russia exports a lot of raw materials, it also has no choice but to import many high value-added products that it does not manufacture. For all advanced technology, it is 45% dependent on Europe, 21% on the United States, and only 11% on China. 

In the military field, which is crucial in the context of the war in Ukraine, the sanctions limit Russia’s capacity to produce precision missiles, such as the Iskander or the KH 101, says Borrell. He also mentions that almost all foreign car manufacturers have decided to withdraw from Russia and the few cars produced by Russian manufacturers will be sold without airbags or automatic transmission. 

The oil industry is suffering not only from the departure of foreign operators but also from the difficulty of accessing advanced technologies such as horizontal drilling,” says the EU high official. “The ability of the Russian industry to bring new wells on stream is likely to be limited. Finally, in order to maintain air traffic, Russia will have to withdraw the majority of its aircrafts from circulation in order to recover the spare parts needed to allow the others to fly. Added to this there is also the loss of access to financial markets, being disconnected from major global research networks and a massive brain drain.”

Borrell also notes that China, contrary to expectations, offers a limited alternative for the Russian economy, especially for high-tech products, because, to date, the Chinese government has not assisted Russia in circumventing Western sanctions. 

Will these significant and growing impacts lead Vladimir Putin to modify his strategic calculations? Probably not in the immediate future: his actions are not guided primarily by economic logic. However, by forcing him to choose either butter or guns, the sanctions lock him in a vice that is gradually tightening,” concludes Josep Borrell.

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Press release

Sanctions: European Commission publishes consolidated list of travel bans

Published in Politics
Friday, 13 May 2022 11:05

On 11 May, the European Commission published a consolidated list of travel bans in its EU Sanctions Map tool. This includes those who are implicated, in one way or another, in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

This sanctions tool is available to Member State authorities as well as EU citizens and allows EU citizens to see who is subject to a travel ban under our sanctions measures, and is therefore prevented from travelling to the EU.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that “travel bans are an integral element of our foreign policy toolbox and an important feature of most EU sanctions regimes”.

Since 2014, the Council has imposed travel bans against 1,091 individuals in response to their actions violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Since the start of the illegal Russian aggression in Ukraine this year, approximately 900 travel bans restricting entry into the territory of the EU have been imposed against individuals who support and facilitate that aggression,” said Borrell.

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Press release

EU Sanctions Map tool

EU Sanctions Whistleblower Tool looks for information on violations of EU sanctions on Russia or Belarus



EU triples initial support to Ukrainian Armed Forces – up to €1.5 billion under the European Peace Facility

Published in Economics
Thursday, 14 April 2022 10:42

On 13 April,  the Council of the European Union adopted two assistance measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF) that will allow the EU to further support the capabilities and resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend the country against the ongoing Russian military aggression.

The EU will add €500 million to the resources already mobilised under the EPF for Ukraine, thereby tripling the initial budget to €1.5 billion.

The next weeks will be decisive. As Russia prepares for an offensive on the East of Ukraine, it is crucial that we continue and step up our military support to Ukraine to defend its territory and population and prevent further suffering,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

The agreed measures will finance both the provision of equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by EU Member States, including personal protective equipment, first aid kits and fuel, as well as military equipment designed to deliver lethal force for defensive purposes. The duration of the assistance measures is also extended by 24 months.

Source: EU Neighbours East

Borrell meets new Georgian Foreign Minister, underlines full EU support

Published in Politics
Thursday, 07 April 2022 12:26

EU High Representative Josep Borrell yesterday met new Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili in Strasbourg, and congratulated him on his appointment.

The High Representative  recalled the European Union’s full support to Georgia in the current challenging regional and geopolitical context and in facing the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The EU continues to be ready to step up its cooperation with Georgia to strengthen its resilience,” an EU press release said. 

Borrell reaffirmed the EU’s unwavering commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders, and underlined the EU’s commitment to further deepen EU-Georgia relations. He stressed the importance for Georgia to make concrete and rapid progress on key reform priorities, and notably to further tackle the domestic political polarisation, reform the judiciary and adopt the agreed constitutional reforms.


Mogherini welcomes EU-Georgia information security agreement

Published in Politics
Friday, 24 June 2016 23:33

“Let me tell you how glad I am, first of all about what we just signed, but also about your visit here today,” EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said yesterday during her meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze in Brussels, where a Security of Information Agreement between the EU and Georgia was signed. “We know that you also have important elections coming up in October and we hope that our cooperation before and after that will be as excellent as it has been so far. So I would like to welcome you very warmly and thank you very much,” she added.
The agreement is expected to enter into force towards the end of 2016. According to the EU, upon entry into force, it will enable the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the General Secretariat of the Council, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service and the European Commission to exchange classified information with relevant parties in Georgia. Such an agreement does not oblige either the EU or Georgia to exchange classified information, but ensures that any that is exchanged is given a level of protection equal with its security classification, the EU press release added. (EU Neighbourhood Info).

Mogherini on visa liberalization in Georgia: the country “has done incredibly good work”

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 14:25
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said following the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Monday that EU foreign ministers had discussed EU-Georgia visa liberalisation, and “it was clear from all Member States that there is no doubt that Georgia fulfilled all the benchmarks”, she said. The EU’s foreign policy chief was speaking to reporters in Luxembourg at a press conference after the meeting.
“Obviously, this is now in the hands of the Dutch Presidency to put it on the agenda of one of the upcoming COREPERs [Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union], but there was a recognition from all Member States on the fact that Georgia has done an incredibly good work and that deserves to be recognised as soon as possible,” added Mogherini

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