Paris and Berlin vow to support Ukraine 'as long' as necessary

The European Union is due to hold a meeting on February 1 to unblock the 50-billion-euro aid package for Ukraine

By AFP

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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (R) and France's newly appointed Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne speak prior to a joint press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. — AFP
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (R) and France's newly appointed Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne speak prior to a joint press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. — AFP

Published: Sun 14 Jan 2024, 9:16 PM

France's new foreign minister and his German counterpart said on Sunday they would continue to support Ukraine for as long as needed, nearly two years after the crisis started.

"We are in full agreement... that we must support the Ukrainians for as long as necessary," French minister Stephane Sejourne told a press conference alongside German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

Baerbock said they would remain "on the side of Ukraine as long as necessary, until Russia has withdrawn", from Ukrainian territory.

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But she warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin "does not want to stop" in the war and "is not stopping".

The meeting between the two foreign ministers comes at a time when allies are struggling to secure funding and as some worry that Kyiv could be forgotten as other conflicts, such as that between Israel and Hamas, take centre stage.

Major blocks of funding, in Brussels and in Washington, have also been tied up for political reasons.

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The European Union is due to hold a meeting on February 1 to unblock the 50-billion-euro aid package for Ukraine, vetoed by Hungary's leader Viktor Orban.

Sejourne met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday on his first official visit abroad, vowing that Paris would maintain its support.

In his evening address, Zelensky said they had discussed Ukraine's defence needs, "including joint production of drones, artillery, and further strengthening of air defence".


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