EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, in a recent press conference, underscored his commitment to supporting Ukraine in the ongoing conflict, while refraining from speculating on the tactical aspects of the war. This stance highlights the European Union's role in the crisis, focusing on support rather than direct involvement in military strategy.
Borrell's Response to Military Strategy Questions
During the press conference following a meeting of EU defense ministers, Borrell was questioned about his views on the current state of the war in Ukraine, particularly in light of comments made by Ukraine's top military commander, Valery Zaluzhny.
Zaluzhny had suggested that the war situation is at a stalemate and emphasized the need for the EU to gather weapons for a potential Kiev offensive next year to decisively alter the battlefield dynamics. Borrell, addressing these inquiries, stated, "Look, the chief commander of the Ukrainian army knows the situation much better than I [do], I’m not going to discuss the situation on the battlefield with him." He emphasized his role in supporting Ukraine, rather than evaluating or engaging in its military strategy.
"He knows, and if he has said whatever he has said, I don’t know, it's not me who is going to consider if he is right or not. My duty, my work is to support him. It’s not me who is fighting, it’s not us [the EU] who are fighting, it’s the Ukrainians," Borrell added.
EU's Role in the Ukraine Conflict
Borrell's comments reflect the EU's position on the conflict in Ukraine. While the Union is committed to supporting Ukraine, it remains clear that the EU does not see itself as a participant in the military aspects of the conflict.
This distinction is crucial in understanding the EU's role and approach towards the ongoing war in Ukraine. The EU's support has been pivotal in providing Ukraine with the necessary aid and resources to continue its defense against aggression.
However, as Borrell's remarks indicate, decisions on military strategy and operations are left to the Ukrainian military leadership, acknowledging their expertise and sovereignty in managing their defense. Borrell's focus on support over strategy underscores the EU's diplomatic approach to the crisis, prioritizing assistance while respecting Ukraine's autonomy in its military decisions.