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EU citizens need to be better explained what it’s like having Putin as neighbour – Borrell

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EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has said that EU citizens need to be better informed about what it would mean to have a Kremlin-appointed “puppet” government in Ukraine, like in Belarus, if Russia takes over the country.

Source: Borrell in an interview with EFE, reported by European Pravda

Quote: “Russia will do anything. It will do anything. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has no intention of giving up. His political survival depends on it.”

Details: Borrell said that Putin “is going to go all the way and does not mind sacrificing his army and his people” because “he is suffering huge material and human losses and has not made any significant territorial advance.”

“Do you think that Putin, when he started the war, could imagine for a moment that in two years he would be where he is? No, he thought his army was very powerful. And it is not. He thought that Ukraine was very weak, and that it would collapse. But it didn’t. He thought that the unity of Europeans would collapse. He thought that transatlantic unity would collapse. None of this happened,” Borrell said.

Being aware that “there are people who do not share the view that Ukraine needs help and that it would be better for Ukraine to surrender as soon as possible” because “that way we will get rid of the problems,” Borrell asked: “Do you think if Russia installs a puppet regime in Ukraine, like they have in Belarus, and Russian troops are on the Polish border, will we avoid problems or will we have even bigger problems? “

Therefore, he believes that “we must continue to insist on helping the people who are defending themselves against a powerful neighbour who wants to impose their dominance by force” and who has “nostalgia for the old Soviet or Tsarist empire.”

Borrell stated that Putin was “a neighbour who does not know where its borders end and begin.”

With European elections just around the corner, Borrell believes there is an educational task to be done to explain why the EU is helping Ukraine and what the consequences of Ukraine’s defeat would be.

The ultimate defeat of Ukraine would mean that “the Russian army would be on the border of Europe”, he stressed.

“It means that Putin might think that if he won once, why not win his neighbour a second time? That would mean that Russia would control 35% of all the world’s wheat markets, for example. There are things that people need to be aware of if we want to know why we do what we do,” Borrell said.

Read Borrell’s speech in the Ukrainian parliament: Ukraine’s victory “whatever it takes,” dialogue with opposition, and Kyiv’s two battles. Speech by EU’s top diplomat

Background: The EU top diplomat was on a two-day visit to Kyiv this week, where he spoke about the need for political unity, the implementation of reforms and the need for democratic mechanisms to work effectively.

On 7 February, Borrell had to spend the morning in a shelter because of a large-scale Russian missile attack.

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