5 Oct 2023 15:09

EU cannot replace U.S. in supporting Ukraine - Borrell

MADRID. Oct 5 (Interfax) - The European Union will continue to earmark funding for supporting Ukraine, but Europe cannot replace the United States in this respect, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Josep Borrell said.

"Certainly, Europe cannot replace the U.S. Europe is increasing its support," Borrell said before a European Political Community forum in Spain's Granada on Thursday.

While the news on the U.S.' suspension of funding for supporting Ukraine came as a surprise, the EU is hopeful that this is not a final decision, as Ukraine needs support from both the EU and U.S., he said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is working on a 50-billion-euro support package for Ukraine for 2024-2027. She said she had no doubt that the U.S. would also continue helping Ukraine.

"I am very confident of support for Ukraine from the United States. What the United States is working on is the timing," von der Leyen said.

U.S. President Joe Biden earlier signed legislation on provisional government funding approved and submitted by Congress. The bill allots funds to finance the operations of government institutions for 45 days and does not provide for funding to support Ukraine.

What makes the situation more complicated is that the U.S. House ousted Kevin McCarthy as its speaker earlier this week and cannot currently pass bills, including those related to support for Kiev, until it elects a new speaker. The speaker election process is expected to be complicated and might take a long time.