Support for Ukraine remains fundamental part of EU policy towards Russia – Borrell.

Support for Ukraine, its independence and territorial integrity remains a fundamental part of the renewed EU policy towards Russia.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said this during the presentation of a Joint Communication on the EU's relations with Russia in Brussels today, June 16, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“The fundamental part of the Joint Communication is that we will reaffirm our support to Ukraine and its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. And we will continue to call on Russia to assume its responsibility as a party to the conflict and to fully implement the Minsk agreements,” Borrell said.

The Joint Communication reviews the state of implementation of the five principles that guide the EU's relations with Russia, namely: the full implementation of the Minsk agreements; strengthened relations with the EU's eastern partners and other neighbours; strengthened resilience of the EU; selective engagement with Russia on issues of interest to the EU; and people-to-people contacts and support to Russian civil society.

“Under present circumstances, a renewed partnership between the European Union and Russia, allowing for closer cooperation, seems a distant prospect. Our ambition should be to explore paths that could help change the current dynamics gradually into a more predictable and stable relationship. The EU will simultaneously push back, constrain and engage with Russia, based on a strong common understanding of Russia's aims and an approach of principled pragmatism,” Borrell stressed.

The Joint Communication will be presented to the European Council on June 24-25. On the basis of this Joint Communication, the Leaders will discuss EU-Russia relations and the way forward in the EU's Russia policy.

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