Press Releases Informal Foreign Affairs Council (Development): Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival

Informal Foreign Affairs Council (Development): Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival

Good morning,

Yesterday, we were discussing about how to support Ukraine militarily.

Today, we are going to discuss how we can support the reconstruction of Ukraine. Well, reconstruction has already started. We support a lot the civilians, we try to rebuild the electricity [network].

Today, the [latest] bad news is that there has been a Russian attack against the Zaporizhzhia nuclear [power] plant. It has been disconnected, once again, from the electricity grid of Ukraine. As far as we know, 40% of the Kyiv population is without electricity, with a lot of black holes in the electricity system around the whole country.

It shows that, once again, Russia is trying to destroy completely the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine. And that is why we have to [continue] providing for, as we discussed yesterday, the way for Ukraine to defend itself.

But today, we are going to discuss how we can finance the reconstruction, and how we can use the frozen assets – the Russian frozen assets – in line with international law and European law, to finance the reconstruction.

Both things go together. Yesterday’s discussion and today’s discussion aim at the same purpose: to support Ukraine, to defend and to rebuild. To support [Ukraine] militarily and to support civilians. The Ministers will discuss all the ways and means that we can mobilise in order to support the reconstruction of Ukraine.

But also, we started yesterday by discussing about the global health. The lessons learned from the last pandemic, because it is not going to be the last one, unhappily. And how we can be more prepared in order to face the following one.

We had a meeting with Dr Tedros [Adhanom Ghebreyesus], the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and once again we expressed our strong support for a multilateral approach to global health issues.



Q. During the pandemic, the European Union had appeared quite divided. If there would be a new pandemic would there be a better response, a more coordinated response? Are you working towards that?

I think the way the European Union answered to the [COVID-19] pandemic was a good example of how we can work together. At the beginning, since we do not have competencies on health at the level of the [European] Commission, there were different answers from [the] different Member States. But what we did with the pandemic, the way we answered to that, the way we went together to the financial markets looking for the resources to fund the vaccines, the way we funded the research to get vaccines and the way we acted, I think it is a good example of the coordination and the added value of the European Union.


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