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Kuleba: EU top diplomat’s first Donbas visit part of Russia deterrence package.

The first visit by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, to the zone of Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict in Donbas, scheduled for January 5, is part of a package to deter Russia from further aggression.

This was stated by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a comment to Ukrinform on Monday, January 4.

The foreign minister recalled that in November 2021, Ukraine proposed that a comprehensive package of measures be adopted to deter Russia from a new wave of war in Europe, which includes the political, economic, and security levels.

Read also: EU foreign policy chief arrives in Ukraine

"My trip to Donbas with Mr. Borrell will be the first visit of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the zone of Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict in Donbas throughout all the years of Russian aggression. This should also be considered as part of a deterrence package. This is a timely visit, which is a concrete manifestation of support for Ukraine and solidarity with Ukrainians living in the war zone in Donbas," Kuleba said.

He thanked the EU foreign minister for the clear signals about Russia's aggressive actions and its unacceptable demands, which the EU High Representative voiced in a series of recent interviews.

"The European Union has taken a principled public stance in support of Ukraine and international law, and this is an important result of our multiple diplomatic contacts last year," said the foreign minister.

Kuleba noted that the main challenge for the EU now was to reach a consensus on a package of economic sanctions against Russia needed to contain aggression.

"We will talk about this with my colleague," the minister assured.

Read also: EU ready to respond decisively to Russia's aggression against Ukraine - Borrell

Commenting on the third level of the comprehensive deterrence package, military supplies to Ukraine, Kuleba said that although the EU is not a security alliance, Ukrainian diplomacy has achieved an important result – to have Ukraine join the European Peace Fund and receive EUR 31 million to strengthen the Army.

"This is concrete assistance to our Armed Forces. A strong Ukraine is not just a strong army, and the EU can do a lot here. Therefore, our talks will also focus on very specific decisions aimed at strengthening Ukraine's security, improving the welfare of Ukrainians, and further European integration of our nation," the minister said.

According to Kuleba, the best response to Vladimir Putin would be to pass a positive political decision in the EU on granting Ukraine membership in the bloc.

"This decision is overdue, and it is in the strategic interests of security and prosperity in Europe," he said.

Dmytro Kuleba assured that in general partners’ support for Ukraine is growing, and "it is not only about the right signals, but also the right actions."

Read also: Borrell : No decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on January 4-6, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, is paying a third visit to Ukraine at the invitation of Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

On January 5, the heads of Ukrainian and European diplomacy will visit the demarcation line in Luhansk region, where they will be briefed about the current security situation in the zone of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

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