War in Ukraine: EU reiterates “continued support” for Kiev, preparing more sanctions against Russia

Josep Borrell today conveyed the “continued support” of these 27 countries to Ukraine in a call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

“The EU-Ukraine Association Council is a key moment in advancing the partnership,” Borrell said on Twitter, referring to the key instrument for cooperation between the parties, which entered into force on 1 September 2017.

The seventh meeting of this Council was held in Brussels on 21 February 2021 and on 12 October the last EU-Ukraine summit of the same year was held in Kiev.

On the other hand, Borrell, who visited Kiev on April 8, recalled that the EU was “working on the next package of sanctions” against Russia.

Following the start of the Ukrainian occupation, the EU is preparing a sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which is expected to include a ban on Russian oil imports.

Germany has already stated its “active” support for such an EU embargo.

The call between Borrell and Kuleba comes on the eve of an extraordinary council of EU energy ministers in Brussels shortly after the Russian gas company Gazprom cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria because they refused to pay in rubles.

This debate also coincides with an operation that began on Friday to move the first group of about 100 civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

“The situation in Mariupol is terrible, humanitarian withdrawals are urgent,” the head of European diplomacy demanded today.

The EU has reaffirmed its commitment to Ukraine and provided political, economic and financial support since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24, killing some 3,000 civilians, according to the UN, warning that the actual number is likely to be much higher.

The military offensive led to the escape of more than 12 million people, more than 5.4 million of whom were out of the country, according to the latest UN data.

The international community generally condemned the Russian attack, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions on Moscow.

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