Situation in Israel Won't Shake Support for Ukraine – European Commission

Monday, 9 October 2023

The European Commission has stated that the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not lead to a decrease in support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

"I don’t think anything will in any way influence the support that the European Union provides to Ukraine. That is beyond the shadow of a doubt," European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said during a briefing in Brussels when asked how the situation in the Middle East might alter the EU's support for Ukraine.

"If you listen to the President [Ursula von der Leyen]’s speech in Bordeaux on Saturday, she reiterated once again that we stand by the Ukrainian people as long as it takes in their conflict against Russia," Mamer added.

Peter Stano, Spokesman for the EU External Action Service, commented separately on whether a possible link between events in Ukraine and those in Israel, and possible attempts by Russia to use the situation to its advantage, would be discussed at an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers on Tuesday.

"Every time ministers are meeting, they are discussing Ukraine as a self-standing issue because of its very importance. So the discussion tomorrow… is an urgent emergency meeting to discuss what happened [in Israel – ed.] and what the response of the European Union should be in this respect," Stano said.

"But, of course, regardless of this, of course, Russia is trying to use or misuse anything that is going on in the international domain, either to fuel instability or to take advantage of it to increase its campaign against Ukraine. But again, this will not mean that the attention of the European Union will be defocused or refocused away from Ukraine," Stano added.

On 10 October, the EU will hold an emergency meeting of foreign ministers in response to the Hamas attack on Israel, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell has announced.

The European Commission also commented on Israel's decision to impose a complete siege on the Gaza Strip, noting that Israel has the right to defend itself.

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