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24 Dec, 2021 14:57

EU & Ukraine ask to join talks on future of European security

EU & Ukraine ask to join talks on future of European security

Officials in the European Union and Ukraine want a seat at the table as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to discuss security guarantees with his American counterpart Joe Biden.

Kiev and the European Union must both be given a seat at the table for discussions about the future of European security, and no decisions should be made without their input, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Thursday.

Following a call with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, Kuleba wrote on Twitter that the two diplomats agree that their involvement is a “key principle.”

“Decisions on Ukraine’s security can only be made with Ukraine at the table and with the EU at the table on matters of wider European security,” Kuleba wrote.

The EU also published a press release following the discussions, stating that Borrell “reaffirmed the European Union’s firm and continued support to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”

“Any real discussion on security in Europe must build on and strengthen OSCE and UN commitments and obligations – true pillars of the European security architecture – and not lead to their erosion,” the statement says.

The discussions come a week after Russia published two draft documents with a list of security guarantees it wants to obtain from the US and NATO. The proposed treaties focus on European security and specifically name Ukraine as a country that should be legally banned from joining the American-led NATO military bloc. The EU and Kiev were, however, not invited to sign a treaty, and future negotiations could take place without them at the table.

On Wednesday, Borrell said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has agreed that Russian proposals for European security guarantees will be discussed with Brussels, but did not state that they would take part in negotiations.

Russia’s desire to come to a legally binding agreement on European security comes as tensions remain high on the country’s border with Ukraine. In recent weeks, Western media outlets have alleged that the Kremlin is planning an invasion for the upcoming months. Moscow has denied all such accusations.