Press Releases Eastern Partnership: Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the EP plenary

Eastern Partnership: Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the EP plenary

Madam Chair, Honourable Members of the European Parliament,

First of all, I would like to thank the Rapporteur Witold Waszczykowski for his report.

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine has changed the security landscape in Europe and is a wake-up call for the EU. This is an attack also to Europe and the whole democratic world.

Russia is trying to suffocate Ukraine’s economy through a long war of attrition and a Black Sea blockade.

Our support to Ukraine is unprecedented, mobilising all instruments: political, military, economic and humanitarian, and it will be continued. We have also stepped up considerably our support to [the Republic of] Moldova, the most affected neighbour of Ukraine.

Politically, we reached out to our partners to isolate Russia in the international fora.

Economically, we responded to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and its civilians with the largest packages of sanctions in the EU’s history.

The EU continues to deliver military support at a fast pace. Our unprecedented military support package of €2 billion, under the European Peace Facility, helps Ukraine defend its population and territorial integrity.

The military support by the EU Member States continues to be delivered at a fast pace. The Common Security and Defence Policy Mission EUAM Ukraine was mobilised to provide extra support and facilitate the investigation and prosecution of international crimes committed.

Maintaining international unity and promotion of multilateralism remains vital. Therefore, we will continue supporting Ukraine through the OSCE, particularly in the context of the closure of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine provoked by Russia’s obstructive behaviour.

We have proposed to increase the non-lethal military assistance measures benefitting Georgia and [the Republic of] Moldova. It will support logistics, cyber-defence, military medical, engineering and mobility capabilities. We will present them in June for planned adoption by the Council in July.

Honourable Members,

The war has to end on terms acceptable for Kyiv and with full respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

The EU strongly continues to support Ukraine to win this war. In the context of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, the Strategic Compass clearly stresses our intention to boost our cooperation in the area of security and defence with our Eastern Partners. Support to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and countries in the South Caucasus is more important than ever. We will continue supporting our partners and strengthening ties with them.

Thank you for your attention.

Slava Ukraini. Long live Europe.

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Closing remarks

Madam Chair, Honourable Members,

The Russian aggression has created a new reality for [the] Eastern Partnership. We are convinced that [the] regional framework remains valid and is [an] essential tool to project the EU’s values and interests in the Eastern neighbourhood. It is also a tool that helps to deepen our relations with the Eastern partners to the benefit of citizens, both in the EU and in the Eastern Partnership countries. A safe, peaceful and prosperous Europe is a goal that we share with our Eastern partners.

We focused today on security and defence policy aspects, but also the resilience-focused framework endorsed at the Eastern Partnership Summit in December 2021, is even more relevant in the current context.

The priorities for cooperation include reforms in the areas of rule of law, green, connectivity, digital and people-to-people contacts with fundamental values taking a central role in our policy.

Let me thank you for your report and reaffirm our determination to continue our cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries along those lines.

Thank you.

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