On a visit to the eastern Ukraine this week, the EU’s chief foreign affairs official, Josep Borrell called on the United States and Russia to include the European Union in the upcoming high-level talks on the future of security architecture in Europe.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs’ visit to the Ukraine’s Lugansk region and subsequent comments came after Russia caused significant unease through its amassing of 100.000 troops at its border to the country late last year.
More importantly, the former Spanish Foreign Minister’s comments on inclusion in the talks also come in response to Russian President Putin saying that he wants legally-binding guarantees from both the EU and NATO about weapons deployment and further expansions to the north and east. In the specific NATO context, any future expansion towards countries such as the Ukraine, but also Sweden and Finland would as such be considered a strong breach of “Russian security demands.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Borrell’s statement comes ahead of a bilateral meeting between the US and Russian administrations in Geneva on Monday (10 January) aimed at deescalating the tensions, as well as several meetings in the NATO and OSCE frameworks later this month.
Speaking of the upcoming talks and the EU’s role with regard to European security, he said that the EU “cannot be a neutral spectator in the negotiations,” arguing that “we are no longer in the Yalta times” – a reference to the post-WWII meeting at which Europe was divided between the winning powers.