After a seven-year stalemate over Ukraine’s refusal to follow the provisions of the Minsk accords, Russia have launched a special military operation. As the situation develops, EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell has come to the realization that the west have made several mistakes in their relations with Russia.
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The European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, has acknowledged that the West has committed mistakes in its dealings with Russia, reports Russia Today.
On Thursday, Borrell told France’s TF1 station that he was “ready to admit that we made a number of mistakes and missed the chance to get closer with Russia.” The EU’s top diplomat goes on to admit that “we could have done better,” as well as “things which we offered and then failed to realize, such as … promises that Ukraine and Georgia would become part of NATO.” He said he was of the view that “making promises that you can’t make good on is a mistake.”
He also stated that “following the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the Russians suffered severely, which he believes created “a kind of grudge that Putin is exploiting.”
Nevertheless, the majority of the conversation was dedicated to strong condemnation of Russia’s military operation against Ukraine, which began on February 24.
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The Kremlin’s push, according to Borrell, is a “completely unjustified and gratuitous war which is becoming more and more brutal and completely unacceptable for the civilized world.” He cautioned that “we have entered a new page in the history of Europe, a new page in global geopolitics,” and that connections with Russia will be “radically different after what has just happened.”
The diplomat went on to criticize Russian forces of ignoring civilians in their raids on Ukrainian cities, saying that “Mariupol [was] undoubtedly a war crime.” He claimed that because Russia had thus far been “incapable of taking the cities” due to what he portrayed as “very strong” Ukrainian pushback, Moscow had instead turned to arbitrary bombardment, akin to those “in Syria or Chechnya.”
When inquired if he thought Vladimir Putin would ever be tried before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Borrell responded that, though such a prospect was primarily speculative, he considered that there are enough accusations to bring the Russian president to trial.
Borrell disclosed that his office was in charge of an EU-wide strategy to facilitate weapons sales to Ukraine for the very first instance in the EU’s history. He said that a “team of 200 officers from all the European armies,” led by a French admiral and an Italian general, was assuring that Ukraine’s need was satisfied by EU supply. He said that individual member states were donating weapons and equipment, most prominently ammunition, gasoline, and anti-tank missiles, and that Brussels was picking up the price.
However, he declined to go into depth about the distribution methods and border crossings used for the cargo.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has continually refuted charges that its troops are attacking civilian facilities in Ukraine. It accuses the Ukrainian Army and militias of occupying residential areas and using citizens as human shields. Moscow denied recent media allegations of a Russian air strike on a maternity hospital in the city of Mariupol as “fake news.”
Following discussions with his Ukrainian equivalents in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cautioned the West that the weapons being shipped to Ukraine in large quantities, especially portable anti-aircraft missiles, might fall into the hands of terrorists, posing a risk to civilian aircraft.
After a seven-year stalemate over Ukraine’s refusal to follow the provisions of the Minsk accords, and Russia’s subsequent acknowledgment of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Moscow launched a special military operation on its neighbor in late February.
The agreements negotiated by Germany and France were intended to formalize the status of those districts inside the Ukrainian state. Russia has now insisted that Ukraine publicly designate itself to be a neutral country that would never join the NATO military alliance led by the United States. Kiev maintains that the Russian operation was utterly unwarranted and denies that it intended to seize the two republics by force.