Josep Borrell regrets that some Europeans want to rush the conflict in Ukraine to an end by stopping EU aid to kyiv, because of its high cost for European societies. He denounces “a mentality that must be overcome”.
“The temptation to give up is there but we cannot weaken, we must maintain our support for Ukraine”, declared the head of diplomacy of the European Union Josep Borrell, in an interview published on September 15 by the spanish daily El Mundo.
The one who is also the vice-president of the European Commission thus deplored that, among other repercussions of the energy crisis in Europe, a growing skepticism was developing concerning the financial support to be provided to Ukraine.
“There is a temptation in part of European society to give up [l’Ukraine]. People want to end the war because they cannot bear the consequences, the costs. This mentality must be overcome,” he said, quoted here by EuroWeekly News.
By evoking “the consequences” and “the costs” of the conflict in Ukraine for the European populations, the senior EU diplomat addressed a particularly divisive subject within the 27: both the subject of the contribution to financial and military aid to destination of kyiv than that of the adoption of anti-Russian sanctions on energy are the subject of differences. As a reminder, the EU has adopted numerous economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia and delivered arms to kyiv, in reaction to the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine, launched at the end of February and which the 27 denounce as a war of ‘invasion.
A protest movement emerging in Europe
Recently, several European countries have also seen the emergence of a protest movement against such political choices.
Some 70,000 people demonstrated on September 3 in the center of Prague against the Czech government, accusing it of paying more attention to Ukraine than to its own citizens.
In France, a demonstration was organized in Paris on September 3, in particular to demand the country’s exit from NATO and the EU. Ahead of the Paris rally, the organizers had invoked, among other things, the “organized shortages” according to them by the authorities (in the context of energy tensions linked in particular to the conflict in Ukraine), the “explosion in prices” or even the “climate of war”, in order to mobilize the demonstrators.
A week later, it was the Austrian capital that saw thousands of demonstrators opposed to the sanctions targeting Russia.