‘Any military aggression against Ukraine will have messy consequences and severe costs,’ said Borrell
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell vowed the bloc’s full support for Ukraine Wednesday as he visited amid fears Moscow plans to invade and ahead of US-Russia talks on the crisis.
The visit comes as the West tries to deter Moscow from launching an attack on its ex-Soviet neighbour, which has battled pro-Kremlin separatists in two eastern regions bordering Russia since 2014.
“Any military aggression against Ukraine will have messy consequences and severe costs,” he said in the village of Stanytsya Luganska in the eastern Lugansk region.
Borrell’s visit, which he said illuminated “destinies destroyed” and “families divided”, was the first by an EU foreign policy chief to eastern Ukraine since war broke out nearly eight years ago.
– Common goal to ‘de-escalate’ crisis –
Kuleba said he was “glad” the EU foreign policy chief had a chance to visit the frontline and “feel the consequences of the conflict with his own eyes.”
“The European Union stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine in countering Russia’s aggressive policy,” the Ukrainian foreign minister said.
Kyiv and its Western allies accuse the Kremlin of fomenting the rebellion, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.
Last month Moscow presented the West with sweeping security demands, saying NATO must not admit new members, including Ukraine, and seeking to bar the United States from establishing new bases in former Soviet republics.
High-ranking officials from the United States and Russia are set to hold two days of talks in Geneva on the crisis starting Sunday.
“The limitation of spheres of influence of two big powers” are no longer relevant, Borrell said Wednesday.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to assure European allies that it will act in concert with them, dismissing suggestions that it could seek a Cold War-style agreement that affects Europe without its participation.
The United States and its European partners have threatened to impose harsh economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.
Originally published as Borrell vows EU’s ‘full support’ for Ukraine on frontline visit