Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Union has reached a deal with Ukraine to set up a military training mission in the country. The deal, agreed on in principle, would see the EU set up an advisory, non-combat mission, according to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba.
Kuleba met with his European counterparts in Brussels today. He also urged the EU to impose sanctions against Russia immediately, rather than waiting for the start of a possible invasion of his country by Russian troops.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister was reportedly backed by Lithuania, whose Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told his colleagues that he believed the time for action has come, given the current cyber-warfare and economic pressure directed at Kiev by Moscow.
“We believe that the attack has already started”, Landsbergis said. “We have to start debating about and answer already to the current situation. Everything we are talking about is just waiting for military attack, but Russia has a huge arsenal of things it can deploy before a military attack.”
Stressing that there was no need “to wait for a military attack”, Landsbergis was adamant that “Ukraine is already under attack.” He noted how its economy “is already facing huge challenges that are not of Ukraine’s making.”
EU High Representative Josep Borrell was more reluctant to sanction Russia before actual fighting had begun, while pledging that the EU would support Ukraine “at the most critical moment,” should it come to that. “At the right moment, I will call an extraordinary meeting. But I hope the moment will not come”, Borrell stated.
Meanwhile, Kuleba acknowledged the fresh sign of support from the EU represented by the training mission plans. “We reached an agreement with the EU in principle that the EU will roll out advisory training in Ukraine”, Kulbeba said, noting that the arrangement did not entail “combat forces”, after meeting the EU 27 ministers.