By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA) – The delimitation of influence spheres between two major powers is obsolete in 2022, the EU foreign policy chief said during a visit to Ukraine on Wednesday.
“We are no longer in Yalta times. The delimitation of spheres of influence between two big powers does not belong to 2022,” Josep Borrell said in a joint news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba following their visit to the frontlines in eastern Ukraine.
Borrell arrived on Tuesday in Ukraine for a three-day visit ahead of a series of key diplomatic events between Western partners and Russia.
By historical comparison to the 1945 Yalta Conference seeking to arrange Europe’s fate after World War II, he referred to the two draft agreements on European security guarantees proposed by Russia last month to the US and NATO.
He also pointed out that Europe's security, which also includes Ukraine, “first and foremost affects Ukrainians and Europeans.”
“We are here first to reaffirm the European Union’s full support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” Borrell said.
He warned that the conflict is on the verge of escalation due to Russia’s unusual concentration of troops and weapons along the Ukrainian border.
Borrell also said the EU fully supported the de-escalation of the conflict through dialogue “with a firm stance and strong commitment that any military intervention against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe costs.”
On Jan. 9-10, US and Russian delegations led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov will meet in Geneva.
The NATO-Russia Council will convene on Jan. 12, for the first time since NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Moscow in 2014 because of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
On Jan. 13, Russia will hold talks with Ukraine, Germany, and France as part of the so-called “Normandy format” to ensure the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements.