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Borrell visits Ukraine to show European support for Russia


European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has arrived in Ukraine for a visit to show Brussels support for Kiev in the face of Russian threats, where it is expected to hold meetings with senior officials from the country on Wednesday.

Tensions have increased in recent months between Moscow and Kiev, amid Western warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine after amassing some 100,000 troops on its borders.

On Tuesday, Borrell said in a tweet on Twitter that “in the face of the rise of the Russian armed forces, I am here to show the support of the European Union for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.


Borrell will begin his visit in Ukraine with a tour to the east of this country accompanied by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, during which the two men will inspect the line of contact between Ukrainian forces and the pro-Russian separatists with whom Kiev has been blocked in an armed conflict since 2014.

This conflict, which broke out after Russia annexed Crimea, resulted in the deaths of over 13,000 people.

From the front line, Borrell will travel to the capital, Kiev, to meet other Ukrainian officials.

The European Commission said on Monday that the visit “confirms the EU’s strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in one moment in which the country is facing military buildup and mixed actions by Russia. “

For its part, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said the visit “aims to confirm the support of the European Union against the backdrop of Russian aggressive measures”.

The ministry added that Borrell will also discuss with his Ukrainian counterpart ways “to dissuade Russia from new aggressions, including through economic sanctions”.

This will be the first visit by a European foreign minister in front line since the outbreak of war in eastern Ukraine.

Diplomatic efforts to defuse the Ukrainian crisis have intensified in recent weeks, including a virtual summit held in late December between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden.

The Kremlin calls on NATO not to include Ukraine, the former Soviet republic, and to withdraw its forces from areas close to the Russian border.

On January 9, Russia and the United States will start talks on the Ukrainian question in Geneva, led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Ryabkov, which will be followed by a meeting between Russia and NATO on January 12, and then a meeting on the 13th within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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