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E.U. Foreign Ministers Gather in Kyiv for Surprise Summit – New York Times – 03.10.23

The gathering in Kyiv, Ukraine, was described as the first time foreign ministers of the 27 E.U. nations met outside its borders.


“This is a historic event because for the first time ever, Foreign Affairs Council is going to sit down outside of its current borders, of the borders of the European Union, but within future borders of the European Union.” “All my colleagues come here Dmytro with the will to show and express their commitment to commune with the European union to continue supporting you in front of your goal unclear.


Nearly all of the European Union’s highest diplomats met in Ukraine’s battered wartime capital on Monday, convening a surprise summit to reassert the bloc’s commitment to Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and to rebut concerns that some countries’ support might be waning.


The foreign ministers came from 23 of the European Union’s 27 members, and were joined by representatives from the four remaining countries, Poland, Hungary, Latvia and Sweden. The bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell Fontelles, said the meeting, which was unusual for being held outside the European Union’s borders, was a signal of the bloc’s unflagging support.


“This meeting,” Mr. Borrell told reporters in Kyiv, “should be understood as a clear commitment of the European Union to Ukraine and its continuous support in all dimensions.”

Russia’s attack on Ukraine roused the European Union into an run of unified action that was extraordinary for the often fractious bloc.


Over 18 months, the nations imposed 11 rounds of economic sanctions on Russia, provided training for the Ukrainian military and, for the first time in the bloc’s history, gave funding for lethal weapons among its billions of euros in support.


Addressing the foreign ministers, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine acknowledged that his country relies heavily on aid from abroad. He said that Ukraine would prevail against Russia, but that “our victory explicitly depends on our cooperation.”


He later said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the meeting had “proved unity in support for Ukraine.”


But the West’s sustained backing for Ukraine has not come without strains, as member nations have struggled to reckon with the war’s economic consequences and to maintain political unity at home. In Slovakia, a Russia-friendly party, whose leader vowed “not to send a single cartridge” of ammunition to Ukraine, won in a national election over the weekend.


In Poland, the government is embroiled in a dispute with Ukraine over grain exports, and the ruling party, facing a knife-edge vote later this month, is trying to reassure voters it will not put Ukraine’s interests above those of Polish citizens. Poland said last month that it would not send any additional weapons once it fulfills its current commitments.


Even in the United States, the E.U. ally that has sent the most aid to Ukraine, Congress passed a stopgap government funding bill over the weekend without more aid for Ukraine, after some Republicans contested its inclusion.


Mr. Borrell on Monday said that E.U. diplomats were keen to keep Ukraine’s backers unified, including in Washington.


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E.U. Foreign Ministers Gather in Kyiv for Surprise Summit - New York Times - 03.10.23
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Ukrainian and Polish flags over the market square in Wroclaw, Poland, in February. Credit...Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times






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