Press Releases Informal video conference of Defence Ministers: Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell upon arrival

Informal video conference of Defence Ministers: Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell upon arrival

Today is the Defence Ministers meeting. We are going to talk with the Defence Ministers about the military situation on the ground, how the war in Ukraine is going on. The purpose is to coordinate what the Member States are doing on their side and what we can do with these half a billion euros that yesterday we decided to grant to the Ukrainian armed forces. These half a billion euros will be devoted to provide defensive arms, high calibre arms, anti-tanks and all kind of equipment in order to repel the aggression. Member States have to provide these arms and we have to coordinate what they are doing and what we can do, additionally, with these resources.

The fight is fierce. Kyiv is resisting, Járkov is resisting, Mariúpol is resisting and Russia is paying a high toll on number of casualties. But we have to provide ammunition, we have to provide the high calibre guns and anti-tank equipment. Also fuel, they need fuel for the tanks, for the planes. All that has to be coordinated.

Secondly, yesterday in Belarus there was a referendum – let us call it referendum, a fake referendum – in order to decide to amend the Constitution and to grant Belarus the status of nuclear country. This is very dangerous. If we start changing the status of countries becoming nuclear. We know what it means for Belarus to be nuclear; it means that Russia will put nuclear weapons in Belarus. And this is a very dangerous path. I made a call to the Belarusian people in order to protest against this decision and also to protest against the aggression from Belarus to Ukraine.

This is going to be a very complex Defence Ministers meeting, but everybody agrees. Yesterday everybody agreed. Only three partial constructive abstentions. So, the unity of the Europeans is very strong, as strong as the resistance of the Ukrainians.


Q. Ukraine requested membership. What do you think about it? Is it possible?

Today this is not on the agenda, believe me. We have to work on more practical things. Membership is something that will take, in any case, a lot of years, and we have to provide an answer for the coming hours. Not for the coming years, but for the coming hours.

Q. But what is your position on this?

Ukraine has clearly an European perspective, but now we have to fight against an aggression. The world cannot afford that a powerful country smashes the neighbour using its military capacities. If we allow it, it is the law of the jungle. It is the law of the stronger: “I am stronger than you, and I kill you. I impose my law on you”. It is the law of the jungle. And this, for us, Europeans, is an existential threat. We will do everything we can in order to stop it.

Q. Yesterday you were talking about the potential influence of this aggression on Moldova and Georgia.

I am going to fly to Moldova to see what is happening there.

Q. And about Georgia?

Georgia later. Georgia is a little bit further away, because it does not have a border with Ukraine.

Q. What can you say about the meeting now between Ukraine and Russia?

That is a first step. We encourage the meeting.

Link to the video:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *