Press Releases Special European Council: Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival

Special European Council: Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival

Good morning,

It seems that today we are going to focus – the leaders will focus – on the Ukrainian issue.

And I want to stress that the war of Russia against Ukraine is the biggest threat to the European security. It has been almost two years that Russia launched this unjustified war against Ukraine, willing to destroy the country and to split the country into pieces. And they continue doing so.

We can and we should do more to support Ukraine. Because I repeat: it is the biggest threat to the European security, and if we do not do it, we will pay a higher price.

That is why, I will debrief the leaders about the situation on the ground and [on] my proposals to increase the military support to Ukraine, with this Ukraine Assistance Fund inside the European Peace Facility.

I will urge them to reach an agreement as soon as possible because there is no more time. We have – in the next months – to increase our military support to Ukraine, as we have been doing increasing the number of ammunitions, but it is still not enough. More has to be done. I do not think we have the sense of urgency when we deal with that.

So, this is going to be an intense discussion. And I hope that I will have a mandate to continue presenting the leaders with the required decisions to face this war, supporting Ukraine as much as it takes, as long as it takes, but supporting them in the urgency.

Certainly, we will talk about the situation in the Middle East and the dire situation in Gaza. And I will stress how important it is to continue supporting UNRWA. The investigation has to be done, but we cannot make a collective punishment to the Palestinian people. UNRWA is something that cannot stop working, otherwise hundreds of thousands of people will be perishing.


Is it what the countries that are cutting funding to UNRWA are doing, collective punishment to people in Gaza?

If you cut the funding to UNRWA, you are punishing the whole Palestinian people. There is no alternative to UNRWA, as the United Nations has clearly said, if you want to keep these people alive. So, no collective punishment to the Palestinian people. No cutting [of funding] to UNRWA.

Up to 10% of the people working for UNRWA allegedly worked with Hamas, that cannot be ignored.

Look, an investigation is underway, but there are hundreds of thousands of people being supported by UNRWA. You cannot keep the funding to keep these people alive. An investigation has to be done, but one thing is one thing, and another thing is another thing.

So, the European Union continues the funding of UNRWA?

The European Union, the [European] Commission, has not decided to stop the funding to UNRWA.

Will you also urge the Member States to continue supporting UNRWA?

I think that at the moment, the support to UNRWA needs to continue. I am fully supporting the position of the Secretary-General of the United Nations [Antonio Guterres].

You were also asked by EU Leaders to prepare a list of countries as regards to deliveries to Ukraine. Is there a lot of bad news?

We have to continue working together to support Ukraine. We have the European Peace Facility. There is a proposal on the table, in order to create this Assistance Fund to Ukraine. All Member States have been participating until now. Now, there are some Member States – Hungary, for example – who say they do not want to participate anymore, but they will not obstruct. One thing is not to participate, another thing is to oppose. For the time being, no one is opposing.

There have been a lot of commitments, but not so many deliveries.

I explained all the deliveries yesterday. Take my figures from my press conference yesterday.

A question on Hungary, please.

I already said the position on Hungary.

You support the position of the 27 [Member States] but if you won’t reach this agreement, should there be consequences?

I already explained, one thing is not to participate, another thing is to obstruct. Hungary is not obstructing.

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