Meeting for Ukraine

Romania has reasserted its firm support for Ukraine’s efforts to fend off the Russian aggression.
EU Foreign Ministers met in Kyiv on Monday for a „historic meeting” meant to express „solidarity” with Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell has said. This was the first such meeting held outside community space. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, hailed the event hosted within what he described „the future borders of the EU”. His French counterpart, Catherine Colonna, said this „exceptional gesture” shows that Ukraine is part of the European family. Last year Ukraine obtained the EU candidate status, although a timetable for accession is yet to be set. Last week, Kyiv’s ambassador to the EU, Katarina Mathernova, said that Ukraine’s EU accession in 2030 is a realistic goal. Until then, Ukraine must resist the invasion, and support from Western partners is key. Romania’s Foreign Minister, Luminița Odobescu, said on the sidelines of the meeting.
„Security in Ukraine and neighboring states is fragile. Romania has the longest border with Ukraine. Russia’s attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, including ports on the Danube River on the Romanian border, are making matters worse. These attacks bring economic consequences not just for Ukraine, but for global economy, food safety in particular. Navigation on the Danube and in the Black Sea is also endangered. Romania is trying to help Ukraine by providing solidarity corridors. We are trying to increase this transit to four million tons of grain by the end of the year”.
Josep Borrell said the EU will extend its military support for Ukraine. The EU official talked to Kyiv officials about artillery ammo, anti-air defense systems, information warfare and assistance programs and long-term training. Military pundits say European guarantees were offered after the Chamber of Representatives in the US Congress adopted a bill on the US budget in November, cutting a six-billion-dollar package promised to Ukraine by the Democrats. Besides, EU members had to reassert their cohesion after the left-wing populist party Direction – Social Democracy won the legislative election in Slovakia last weekend. Slovakian Prime Minister-designate Robert Fico said Slovakia would no longer send ammo to neighboring Ukraine, calling for improving relations with Russia.

(Bogdan Matei, Radio Romania International)