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Ukrainian PM urges EU to stand firm against Russia

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Ukraine must not waver in the face of Russian aggression, according to the country’s prime minister, as he urged the EU to provide more firepower.

Denys Shmyhal was in Brussels to meet with senior European officials, where he made the case for continued support for Kyiv.

“Russia wages a hybrid war in the European continent against the European Union. The gas blackmail, the oil blackmail, creation of the food crisis, migrant crisis, misinformation, cyberattacks,” the Ukrainian Prime Minister said on Monday.

“But abandoning Ukraine alone against Russia – that would just be one of those steps for the further movement of Russia deeper into Europe. The only salvation is for Europe to be united.”

The EU has been funneling weapons, ammunition and other assistance into Ukraine since the Kremlin invaded the country back in February. 

It has also provided billions of euros in economic support. Sanctions are also gradually taking their toll on Russia’s economy, but concern is mounting that EU resolve may falter as inflation and energy prices rise.

However, Shmyhal insisted that Ukraine, which has been accepted as a candidate for future EU membership, still needs more help.

“Unfortunately, we see no signs that Russia is willing to stop the war. This is why we need more modern weapons, such as air defense, missile defense, anti-ship defense” as well as armored vehicles and aircraft, he said.

But the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, said the bloc will not backtrack on its commitments.

“The main message from today meeting to the all world is that the European Union will continue supporting Ukraine, whatever threat, whatever blackmail Russia can put on us,” Borrell told reporters. “We will provide our support politically, financially, humanitarian and military, as long as it takes and as much as needed,”

Brussels has so far provided €2.2 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine, keeping its government afloat during the war.

It’s also granted €2.5 billion in military equipment through the so-called European Peace Facility Fund.

The European Commission has just signed a new €500 million euro humanitarian support programme, but according to Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at German Marshall Fund, this is not enough.

“This is a bare minimum,” Kirkegaard told Euronews. “The International Monetary Fund estimates that Ukraine needs about $5 billion per month. So, the fact the EU has pledged only a total of €9 billion is not enough in my opinion.”

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