Putin could expand military activities into a ‘NATO country,’ top EU diplomat claims — Analysis
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine risks spilling elsewhere, including into an unspecified “NATO country,” Josep Borrell has claimed
Europe struggles between its desire and reality. “support” Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian offensive and its fears that the war could spill over into other countries, the EU’s foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell told CNN Turk on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.
“Everyone is trying to strike a difficult balance. On the one hand, we are trying to support Ukraine and, on the other hand, we are trying to prevent a bigger war,”He said.
Top diplomat said that Vladimir Putin might be able to speak English. “expand his military activities”This is why we have to go beyond Ukraine “nobody should give excuses” to Russia’s leader to do so. Sergey Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry cautioned against the West earlier in the day. “mindless handover”Of “dangerous arms” to Kiev, warning that his country’s troops could potentially treat convoys carrying them as legitimate military targets.
“It could be against one NATO country or it could be against another,”Borrell went on. “There are serious concerns. Putin will keep attacking, and it is important that we limit these attacks. We must isolate Russia from the international community, we must support Ukraine.”
He also reiterated the bloc’s support for Ukraine, claiming that the EU has responded “positively” to Kiev’s membership aspirations. The conflict has seen Ukraine renew its efforts to become an EU member, and President Volodymyr Zilensky made a formal request for membership.
“Yes, we said that Ukraine belongs to the European family. This is historical and geographic evidence. Some procedures are available. We started this process as well,”Borrell said.
While the bid has been supported by several Eastern European members of the bloc, top EU officials, including Borrell himself, have rejected Kiev’s call for a fast-tracked accession. To be granted official candidate status, there is not a fast-track process.
Russia launched a large-scale offensive against its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the 2014-15 Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state and to bring the years-long conflict in the country’s east to an end.
Moscow now demands that Ukraine declare itself neutral and vows to not join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the two republics.