Press Releases NATO: Remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival for the Ministerial meeting

NATO: Remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival for the Ministerial meeting

Good morning,

Today we are going to continue with our transatlantic cooperation and coordination in order to continue facing the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Everybody knows about the atrocities that have been discovered in Bucha and in other places around Kyiv. In the coming days, I will be travelling to Kyiv, together with the President of the European Commission [Ursula von der Leyen]. We will be visiting President [of Ukraine, Volodymyr] Zelenskyy, the Foreign Minister [Dmytro Kuleba] and the Defence Minister [Oleksiy Reznikov]. We will for sure know better what is going on there.

The important thing is to continue putting pressure on Russia and continue supporting Ukraine. Zelenskyy has a lot of support, but what he really needs is more arms. Less applauses and more arms. Good words are good, but the important thing are practical issues. More resources, more military capabilities to resist the Russian aggression, more isolation of Russia in the international community, more sanctions, and that we are doing it. Today – I hope – the 5th package of sanctions will be finally approved by the ambassadors and by written procedure by the Foreign Affairs Council. I hope that when I will go to Kyiv I could announce that, and other measures.

Finally, allow me to remember that today, in the United Nations, a very important vote is going to take place, where the international community will decide – I hope – to suspend Russia from being member of the Human Rights Council. It is going to be a difficult vote, because it requires two-thirds of the votes, but I think that it will be agreed.


Q. What do you think about an oil embargo?

It is not in the 5th package of sanctions, which is being discussed today, it is only coal. But it will be discussed on Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council Ministers meeting. Sooner or later – I hope sooner – it will happen.

Q. Do you expect the publication of the new sanctions package already today or will it be tomorrow?

I cannot tell if it is going to be happening today or tomorrow. Today or tomorrow, it really does not matter. They are having a close look at the list of people and the sectors affected. Maybe this afternoon or tomorrow the latest.

Q. Why the ban to any transactions with military structures was only on the 4th package when the EU was so concerned in December and January about Russian forces being near the Ukrainian borders. Why would you wait with all those military sanctions for the 4th package?

We have been following a progressive approach. Now we are accelerating. You know, you do it [gradually] on the way – we did not want to do everything at the same moment, at the first time – taking into account the situation in the ground. But now the sanctions are almost completed.

Q. On the military sanctions.

What do you call military sanctions? Which military sanctions?

Q. On the 4th package there was a ban to any transaction with Russian-state military agencies. It was a big surprise that it was actually on the 4th package, why not after 2014 when the Crimea annexation took place?

I do not know what are you talking about.

Thank you.

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