EU Initiates Donor Conference for Ukraine

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The President of the European Council announced three strategies of the European Union to overcome the current crisis. One of them involves effective financial support for Ukraine. The European Union wants to hold a donor conference to support Ukraine’s economy, which has been seriously damaged by the current security crisis. This initiative was made by the President of the European Council Charles Michel, Ukrinform reported on Wednesday, February 16. It is noted that Michel voiced this initiative speaking at a session of the European Parliament. “I think we are going to have to go beyond that, with all our allies and partners. This is why I want to launch here this proposal for closer cooperation with Ukraine and the European Union, a conference of donors in order to support the economic robustness of Ukraine,” Michel said. He stated that the large-scale buildup of Russian troops along the borders of Ukraine is the largest since the Cold War, and by such actions Russia threatens the entire European security. Michel noted that EU members are working intensively on a daily basis and at all levels to solve this crisis. He outlined the three main components of the EU strategy to overcome the current crisis sparked by the Russian actions. The first is the search for a diplomatic solution. According to Michel, the leaders of European countries and the United States have activated a broad diplomatic platform for dialogue with Russia, in particular, within NATO, the OSCE and the Normandy format. Michel noted that the European side will never stop giving priority to diplomatic channels, even if these efforts do not produce immediate and tangible results. “In the last two days, Russia has signaled that it may be open to diplomacy. We urge Russia to take immediate and tahgible steps towards de-escalation. This is a condition for sincere political dialogue. We cannot forever attempt diplomacy, while the other side is amassing troops,” the President of the European Council stressed. The second area of work to resolve the current security crisis is the preparation of large-scale sanctions against Russia in case of its new aggression against Ukraine. “The price of aggression for Russia must be high, the consequences massive, and we must ensure that these consequences are accepted by all 27 EU countries. When the time comes, the EU Council will make a statement and take the necessary political decisions. We are in close cooperation with our partners and allies,” Michel said. The third area of the European strategy is to strengthen support for Ukraine and its people. According to him, this includes the EU’s political support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. On the other hand, it should be effective financial support, given the severe consequences that the current security crisis is causing for the economy of Ukraine. Michel conveyed a message of solidarity to all the people of Ukraine and stressed that the European Union supported the democratic choice of Ukrainians during the Dignity Revolution, and will not leave them alone in the current crisis. The President of the European Council addressed another message to the Russian authorities, who must make a choice between war and the tragic losses associated with it and through dialogue to find lasting solutions to ensure mutual security and stability. If Russia chooses aggression, the EU’s response will be unified and tough, Michel said. He also said that a large-scale EU-Africa summit will be held in Brussels today, and its participants are going to express solidarity with Ukraine. Recall, the day before the Foreign Ministry reported that only in the last day Ukraine’s Western partners have made decisions to mobilize almost $ 2 billion to shore up Ukraine’s economy. In particular, the United States offered Ukraine a $1 billion loan guarantee. Also on Tuesday the European Parliament was reported to have approved 1.2 billion euros of aid to Ukraine. Корреспондент