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5 May, 2024 02:57

Some EU states still consider Russia a ‘good friend’ – Borrell

The top diplomat acknowledged that not everyone in Europe sees Moscow as a threat
Some EU states still consider Russia a ‘good friend’ – Borrell

The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has admitted that not every member state sees Russia as Europe’s “most existential threat.”

He argued that disputes between members are preventing the bloc from taking a unified stance on Moscow, and are holding back military aid to Ukraine.

Speaking at Oxford University in the UK on Friday, Borrell said he sees “more confrontation and less cooperation” in world affairs, and brought up instances of dissent among EU members when it comes to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the conflict in Ukraine.

“Today, Putin is an existential threat to all of us. If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he will not stop there,” Borrell stated, adding that a Russian victory would undermine the security of Europe. However, “not everybody in the European Union shares this assessment,” he stressed.

“Some European Council’s members say: “Well, no, Russia is not an existential threat. At least not for me. I consider Russia a good friend,’” Borrell said, without naming specific counties. “In a union governed by unanimity, our policies on Russia are always threatened by a single veto – one is enough.”

The EU has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Russia since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

However, Prime Ministers Viktor Orban of Hungary and Robert Fico of Slovakia have refused to send weapons to Ukraine and stressed that the conflict should be resolved through negotiations.

Hungary stalled the EU’s €50 billion Ukraine aid package for several months, until Orban lifted his veto in February 2024.

Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron once again refused to rule out sending NATO troops to Ukraine, arguing that “the survival of the continent” is at stake. His remarks were heavily criticized by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who said sending NATO forces to Ukraine could spark an all-out global war.

Moscow, meanwhile, has accused Macron of causing a dangerous “verbal escalation” that could lead to the conflict spiraling out of control.