Brussels.  European Union summit.  There is no agreement on aid to Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron said at the conclusion of the two-day European Union summit in Brussels that those who think that Russia will stop in Donbass and Crimea are mistaken. EU leaders are convinced of the need to increase arms supplies to Ukraine, but there is no agreement between them on how quickly to do so.

French President Emmanuel Macron responded to journalists' questions regarding Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov's statement on Friday. He stated that “Russia, due to Western intervention, is in a state of war with Ukraine,” and that “a special military operation turned into a war after the West became a participant in it on the side of Ukraine.”

The “special military operation” was a propaganda term invented by the Kremlin to refer to Russia's armed invasion of Ukraine.

– French President Emmanuel Macron said in Brussels that anyone who believes that Russia will stop in Donbass and Crimea is mistaken. He stated that after Peskov's use of the new term “uncertainty about Russian military objectives was revealed.”

European Union leaders during the summit in Brussels Olivier Matisse/PAP/EPA

Read: Kremlin spokesman: “We are at war. Everyone should understand that”

Improving the European Union's defense capabilities

European Council President Charles Michel also commented on Peskov's words, saying, “Russia's comments regarding war with Europe show how important it is for the European Union to build its own defense industry.”

– We must be aware and we must also tell our citizens across the European Union that if we want peace, if we want security and stability, it is very important to improve our defense capabilities and build a real European Union in the field of defence, Michel said.

According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Peskov's comments only prove that “the Kremlin has betrayed the Russian people over the past two years by hiding the facts and denying that it is at war with Ukraine.”

Participants at the European Council Summit in Brussels Olivier Houslet/PAP/EPA

The issue of arms supplies to Kyiv

Overnight from Thursday into Friday, Ukraine saw more intense Russian missile attacks, including on energy infrastructure. EU leaders meeting in Brussels are convinced of the need to increase arms supplies to Ukraine, but there is no consensus among them on how quickly to do so. The European Commission is scheduled to analyze “all possibilities for mobilizing funds” and submit a report on this matter by June.

One idea is to issue common EU defense bonds. This solution is supported by, among others, France, Estonia and Poland, but is strongly opposed by “frugal” countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

On Thursday, in Brussels, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are scheduled to express their opposition to this idea again.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was not free from criticism due to the European stagnation, as he stated on Friday that the missiles with which Russia attacks Ukraine do not suffer from the same delay as the delivery of weapons to defend the population of his country.

In the absence of reaching a concrete agreement

In the absence of a concrete agreement, EU leaders asked the European Commission at the summit to “analyze all possibilities for mobilizing funds and submit a report by June.” “We are at the beginning of the debate, not at the end,” Ursula von der Leyen explained on Thursday evening when asked about this issue.

In its conclusions on Ukraine, the European Council announced that all necessary military assistance would be expedited. The European Union will continue to support Ukraine “as long as necessary and as intensely as necessary.”

The issue of using profits from interest on frozen Russian assets to purchase weapons will be the subject of further work in the EU Council. European Council President Charles Michel stressed that “the European Union will not be intimidated” by possible Russian reactions against plans to use these profits to buy weapons for Ukraine.

Main image source: Olivier Matisse/PAP/EPA

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