Conflicts & War

Borrell: EU must accept cost of defending Ukraine

(Update 1: changes headline, re-ledes with Josep Borrell comments )

Florence, Italy, May 6 (EFE).- The fight for freedom in Ukraine has a price and Europe has to accept it, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said Friday.

“We have to pay a price for it, (…) solidarity does not mean anything if there is not a cost to it.

“We have to understand that to defend freedom, and to fight against the ones who fight against Ukraine, will have a cost,” Borrell warned during a panel discussion at The State of the Union 2022 at the European University Institute in Florence.

“The politicians should have the courage to explain to the people that this cost has to be accepted otherwise the cost will be much bigger,” he urged.

The Spanish diplomat added that the war in Ukraine has shown that Europe is in danger.

“Without this war we were not aware that Europe is in danger, (…) We have to be more autonomous,” Borrell said.

Meanwhile, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said Ukraine will win against Russia’s “brutal, illegal” war and Europe will be ready for the next generation.

“The events of the last months, with Russia’s brutal, illegal, medieval, invasion of Ukraine has accelerated the need for Europe to create the tools and the processes that it needs to lead in this new and uncertain world,” Metsola said during an opening speech at the same event.

“This is why we have accelerated our moves towards building a new Security and Defense Union, (…) this is why Ukraine will win. This is why Europe will be ready for the next generation,” she added.

Metsola said the EU “has never been stronger” and “has never had such a determined sense of direction as it does today.”

She said Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “grave mistake was assuming our differences were a weakness; our defense of fundamental rights, a sign of feebleness.

“He was wrong. In democracies like ours, these are our strengths. They are the foundations of the next steps. They are our legitimacy and they are our compass,” she added. EFE


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