According to Josep Borrell, Brussels needs to clarify to the public the costs associated with arming Ukraine and maintaining European unity
According to the head of EU foreign policy, aiding Ukraine in its conflict with Russia comes at a cost to Europe that its citizens should be prepared to bear. Josep Borrell thinks that a Russian win would be to Europe’s detriment.
“We must explain to our citizens that this is not someone else’s war,” the diplomat said in an interview published by newspaper El Pais on Thursday. “The public must be willing to pay the price of supporting Ukraine and for preserving the unity of the EU.
“We are at war. These things are not free,” he added, acknowledging that the cost should be distributed “equitably.”
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Borrell was alluding to the rising cost of living and possible power shortages that European countries would experience as a result of their decision to punish Russia for fighting Ukraine by ceasing to purchase its electricity. In order to be better prepared for this winter’s peak demand, Brussels urges member states to reduce usage. However, several nations have opposed the suggestion.
Spain, Borrell’s home country, was among the dissenting voices. Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said last month that “imposing unfair sacrifices” was not the best way to deal with the crisis. She argued that, unlike people in some other nations, “Spaniards have not lived beyond our means from an energy point of view.”
By engaging in such disputes, Europeans “cannot display a lack of unity,” according to Borrell. Madrid was chastised by him for failing to recognize “what this conflict implies to nations closest to it,” such as Poland. In the long term, Spain may gain from the EU’s decoupling from Russia by becoming into a significant center for the delivery of liquified natural gas to Europe, he continued.
Borrell cautioned that Europe should be ready for the Ukraine conflict to last for a very long period. If Russia wins this war and captures some of the land of Ukraine, he warned in reference to European objectives in the conflict, “we Europeans would have lost and will face a far larger threat.”
According to the Ukrainian administration, taking Crimea would bring its military back to where it was before 2014, at which point it would then start talking to Russia. Western countries, according to Borrell, have a “moral obligation” to support Kiev. He claimed that there has been “total collaboration” between the US and the EU on the matter, arguing that this would not have been the case had Donald Trump been in office in Washington.
On February 24, Russia dispatched soldiers into Ukraine, blaming Kiev for failing to carry out the Minsk accords, which were meant to provide the Donetsk and Lugansk regions special status inside the Ukrainian state.
The protocols were first signed in 2014 and were mediated by Germany and France. Pyotr Poroshenko, the former leader of Ukraine, has now acknowledged that Kiev’s primary objective was to exploit the truce to gain time and “build significant armed forces.” The Donbass republics were recognized as separate entities by the Kremlin in February 2022, and Ukraine was required to formally announce its neutrality and its refusal to ally with any Western military alliance. Kiev maintains that there was no cause for the Russian attack.