EU diplomatic outreach in the context of security challenges by Russia
“There is no security in Europe without the security of Ukraine. Diplomatic efforts should build on and strengthen OSCE and UN commitments and obligations.”
HR/VP Josep Borrell, Kyiv, 6 January 2022
The security situation in and around Ukraine has escalated in recent months as a result of Russia’s unusual mobilisation of military troops and equipment. Military manoeuvres were accompanied by heightened rhetoric by Russian senior officials and a spike in information manipulation campaigns. This unprecedented escalation represents a direct threat to Europe and broader European security.
In this context, the EU strongly reiterates its unwavering support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. Any discussion on European and Ukrainian security must include the European Union and Ukraine.
In the first week of 2022, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell visited Kyiv and the line of contact in Stanytsia Luhanska together with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. This was the first visit by an EU High Representative to the line of contact in Donbas since the outbreak of the conflict in 2014 and and demonstrated the EU’s continued strong stand with Ukraine.
The EU maintains its support to conflict resolution efforts in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy format. However, diplomatic efforts should not be conducted in a climate of escalating rhetoric and ultimatums, which belong to past centuries.
The EU urges Russia to de-escalate tensions caused by its military build-up and aggressive rhetoric. We stand ready to prioritise diplomatic engagements as the only viable and sustainable path towards de-escalation.
The EU coordinates closely and firmly its position with allies and likeminded countries and organisations, in particular the United States, and NATO and within the OSCE.
Russia’s military build-up and its security consequences have been a prominent item on the agenda of EU ministers of foreign affairs (19 April – with participation of Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, 6 May, 13 December), as well as the EU Heads of State or Government (European Council, December 16). EU member states remain united in their endorsement for the EU’s political, diplomatic and economic support to Ukraine.
On 20 May 2021, the Council adopted a decision to extend the mandate of the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine) until 31 May 2024.
On December 2, as part of broader assistance measures under the European Peace Facility, the Council adopted a support package worth EUR 31 million. The assistance is meant to help enhance the overall resilience of Ukraine and help strengthen the capacities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
On December 13, the Council decided to impose restrictions against the Wagner Group, including for its involvement in Ukraine.
In the broader context of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine, EU member states remain united in their commitment to the sanctions targeting specific economic sectors of the Russian Federation, as well as actions deliberately undermining and destabilising the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and restrictions on economic relations with Crimea and Sevastopol. [add link to overview page: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/].