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Summit in Kiev: EU pledges support to Ukraine

Summit in Kiev: EU pledges support to Ukraine

Drin another meaning European Union He showed his solidarity with Ukraine on Tuesday and promised more support. “We share the same values ​​and destiny with a European family,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a summit meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selinsky in Kiev. In addition to an investment package of €6.5 billion, energy supplies played an important role in the talks, in which EU Council President Charles Michel also took part. We are working on ways to increase gas delivery capacities from the European Union, said von der Leyen, in cooperation with Ukrainian experts.

Thomas Gotchaker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries, based in Brussels.

Ukraine has stopped buying natural gas directly from Russia since 2015, despite a large pipeline running through the country. Instead, Kiev buys gas mainly in Slovakia. From there it is “pumped again” in the opposite direction through the former Transgas pipeline. Manal flexible It was announced that close cooperation with Kiev in the construction of gas storage facilities will also be examined. This appears to be part of a package of proposals the Commission plans to present on Wednesday to reduce high energy costs.

Documenting security cooperation

Talks in Kiev also focused on closer security cooperation. Ukraine wants to participate with its troops in the European Union operation Althea, the task of stabilizing the military in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, the state wants to participate in various projects of organized military cooperation, or in short, Pesco. The summit statement said the EU, in turn, would “discuss ways to provide greater support to Ukraine’s resilience, including professional military training”. The European External Action Service (EEAS) has been examining several options for this for a few weeks, but it has remained out of public view.

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This was initiated by several eastern member states. As diplomats reported, they first campaigned for a training mission in Ukraine at the meeting of EU defense ministers in Lisbon at the end of May. The initiative came from Lithuania, with support from Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Sweden. At the end of July, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ukraine asked the EU representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell for help in a joint letter. “We have dealt extensively with the Ukrainian request for assistance with military training,” says an EU official involved. At the end of September, the team was in Ukraine to survey the situation. Then several options were presented to the Member States. This included a new military training mission as well as an expansion of the existing civilian advisory mission, which could be active in training officers at military academies.

Germany prefers this second option. This can be achieved more quickly and a difficult relationship with Russia will be less burdensome than an independent military training mission, according to logic. Most states, including the EEAs, should tend to do so. On the other hand, France supports the eastern member states – apparently also to get them to agree to a more independent European defense policy. In light of the disagreement, actual needs must now be determined more precisely by mid-November.