The top diplomat of the EU has warned that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not likely to end anytime soon. Josep Borrell stated that the EU must be prepared to provide long-term support for Kiev in its stand-off with Russia. He also suggested that the EU may need to step in to replace US aid to Ukraine if it diminishes in the future.
Borrell made these remarks in a video address to the Congress of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Malaga, Spain, emphasizing the need for continued support for Ukraine as the conflict continues. He pointed out that the conflict has already lasted much longer than anticipated and that Kiev would not be able to face the Russian military without Western support.
The diplomat called on the EU nations to have both the necessary means and political will to support the bloc’s Ukraine aid policy and potentially expand it. With the possibility of diminishing US aid, Borrell suggested that the EU should be prepared to step in and take over the role of the US as Ukraine’s main military sponsor.
According to Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the EU and its members have spent almost twice as much as the US on total military, financial, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. However, Washington remains Kiev’s single largest military sponsor by a wide margin, having spent around $45 billion on military aid for Ukraine.
Borrell’s warning about a longer conflict between Russia and Ukraine comes as the Pentagon cautioned that it potentially had only $1 billion remaining for Ukraine military aid and would have to ration arms packages from now on. He anticipated that the conflict could last much longer than Russia had originally anticipated.
The remarks from Borrell were met with concern from Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry pointing to his apparent change in tone regarding the likely outcome of the conflict. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova questioned whether the EU was leaning towards considering Moscow as the victor in the standoff.
At the same time, recent reports have indicated growing concern among Kiev’s Western backers about the outcome of the fighting. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that a Russian victory would be a “tragedy” that would leave the US-led bloc “vulnerable.” He stressed the need for continued support to Ukraine and the importance of preventing a Russian victory.
In conclusion, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to raise concerns within the EU and its western allies. It is becoming increasingly clear that the EU and its member states may need to take on a greater role in supporting Ukraine and potentially fill the void left by diminishing US military aid. The prospect of a prolonged conflict and the potential for a Russian victory has prompted diplomatic efforts to ensure continued support for Ukraine.