Top EU diplomat Borrell lobbying members persistently to find air defense systems for Ukraine
Josep Borrell (Photo: EPA)

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell is appealing to EU member states to buy air defense systems and transfer them to Ukraine, he said in an interview with Le Monde.

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"I am knocking on the doors of the member states to tell them that if they do not have anti-aircraft batteries, they will have to buy them. It is moving little by little, but there are huge differences in the contributions that come from the member states," he said.

Borrell noted that now there is a "dynamic impasse" at the front in Ukraine.

"The fighting is very intense. But the breakthrough that Ukraine expected did not happen. And at this time there is no Russian breakthrough either. The Russians are climbing a mountain and biting off pieces of the territory, suffering huge human losses," he said.

Borrell emphasized the need to restore the balance of power in the war.

"There is an asymmetry in this story: Russia does not need to win, it is enough not to lose. Ukraine must win to repel the invasion. Demographically, the difference is huge, and there is an attrition effect in Ukraine. It depends solely on us whether we can give it the opportunity to attack," he said.

Borrell noted that he convened the Foreign Affairs Council (Defense) on April 22 to discuss how the EU can meet Ukraine's needs for ammunition and air defense systems.

On March 27, Ukraine's FM Dmytro Kuleba said that Patriot systems are owned by a number of countries in the world, and these systems can and should be transferred to Ukraine in the shortest possible time, and also called on partners to find the appropriate political will.

On March 28, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that the USA did not transfer Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine because other countries did that. According to him, five to seven units of this equioment could "unblock" the sky for industry, schools and the work of the Ukrainian military.

On April 10, Borrell stated that the armies of the EU countries have 100 Patriot batteries, but are unable to provide even seven of them to Ukraine.