EU foreign ministers show solidarity with Ukraine amid internal rifts

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The EU’s foreign affairs ministers and chief diplomat Josep Borrell met with their Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv on Monday, in an extraordinary meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

The meeting was at a time when a lot of EU members are restraining their support and cut down the financial assistance for Ukraine.

The meeting in an attempt to downplay the increasing rifts inside EU bloc as now after Hungary, Slovakia is on the same path.

The ministers expressed their full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and European aspirations. They also discussed ways to increase the EU’s assistance to Ukraine in the fields of security, defense, humanitarian aid and economic recovery.

One of the concrete outcomes of the meeting was the unblocking of a €500 million tranche of military aid for Ukraine under the European Peace Facility, which had been vetoed by Hungary for months over a dispute involving a Hungarian bank operating in Ukraine. The bank, OTP, was accused by Kyiv of recognizing the separatist entities in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, and was placed on a list of “international sponsors of the war”. After negotiations between Kyiv and Budapest, OTP agreed to change some of its operations and was removed from the list, paving the way for Hungary to lift its veto.

Another topic on the agenda was the EU’s new act to boost ammunition production, which aims to increase the bloc’s capacity to deliver rounds to keep up with Russia’s war machinery.

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