Meet even as pro-Russian ex-PM wins Slovakia’s parliamentary elections
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (left) and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell. Pic/AP
Some of Europe’s top diplomats gathered Monday in Kyiv in a display of support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion as signs emerge of political strain in Europe and the US about the 19-month-old war. European Union foreign ministers converged on the Ukrainian capital for an unannounced informal meeting that officials said would review the bloc’s support for Ukraine and discuss President Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposed peace formula.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the foreign ministers’ first joint meeting outside EU borders signalled that the 27-nation bloc’s support is “unwavering” and underscored the EU’s commitment to Ukraine. The US, the EU and the United Kingdom have provided massive military and financial support to Ukraine, enabling it to stand up to the Kremlin’s attack. The assistance is crucial for Ukraine’s weakened economy and has so far been open-ended. But uncertainty has set in over how long Kyiv’s allies will keep sending it aid worth billions of euros.
The EU meeting in Kyiv took place after the weekend election victory in EU member Slovakia of Robert Fico, whose pro-Russian agenda has increased the question marks about the EU’s continued support for Kyiv. The small eastern European country could bring more tension to the EU’s discussions on Ukraine, as has happened with Hungary’s at-times cool attitude toward Kyiv. Budapest has maintained close relations with Moscow and argued against supplying arms to Ukraine or providing it with economic assistance. Slovakia operates a key rail line used to transport western military hardware to Ukraine.
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