July 22, 2024

Foreign ministers of the European Union countries are convening in Kyiv for the first-ever meeting of all 27 member states outside the EU, the bloc’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell announced on Oct. 2.

“We are convening a historic meeting of EU Foreign Ministers here in Ukraine, candidate country and future member of the EU,” Borrell wrote on the social platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We are here to express our solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people.”

The visit was not publicly announced in advance for security reasons, Euronews said.

In a joint press conference with Borrell, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the EU officials convening for the Foreign Affairs Council session.

Kuleba told reporters that the fact that the EU foreign ministers are meeting in Kyiv “is a message of the unfettered support that the European Union is extending for Ukraine.”

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Borrell explained that the meetings in Ukraine’s capital would not seek to reach concrete conclusions but would take the form of an informal “brainstorming” between the EU and Kyiv to discuss Europe’s present and future support.

The EU chief diplomats will also study President Volodymyr Zelensky’s peace formula for ending the ongoing war, Borrell added.

The Foreign Affairs Council convenes at least once per month to define and implement the EU’s foreign and security policy.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported on Sept. 18, citing three unnamed sources, that the bloc’s foreign ministers would convene in Kyiv in early October for the next Foreign Affairs Council meeting.

The officials would reportedly address Ukraine’s accession to the EU, military support for Kyiv’s fight against Russian aggression, and tightening sanctions against Moscow, the news agency said.

Borrell visited Ukraine’s southern city of Odesa on Sept. 30. Speaking at the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, Borrell affirmed that “the EU stands with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

The official then traveled to Kyiv, where he met Defense Minister Rustem Umerov to discuss Europe’s military support for Ukraine.

Read also: Borrell in Kyiv: EU support for Ukraine has reached 85 billion euros

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