EU urges G-7 to step up air defense for Ukraine

Capri, Italy: The European Union’s top diplomat urged Group of Seven foreign ministers on Thursday to take quick, concrete steps to provide more air defense systems to Ukraine, warning that continued delays could tilt the war in Moscow’s favor.

Without more Patriot air defense missile systems to guard against incoming Russian strikes, “the electricity system of Ukraine will be destroyed. And no country can fight without having electricity at home, in the factories, in the front line,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a G7 foreign ministers meeting on the Italian resort island of Capri, where Russia’s war in Ukraine and surging tensions in the Middle East over Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel were topping the agenda.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed Borrell’s call, saying he hoped U.S. funding for Ukraine would soon come through Congress but that other allies needed to step up.

“In this moment, it is urgent that all of the friends and supporters of Ukraine maximize their efforts to provide Ukraine with what it needs to continue to effectively defend itself against this Russian aggression,” Blinken said after meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani opened the first working session by calling for new sanctions against Iran for its weekend attack and concrete help for Ukraine to defend itself from Moscow’s invasion.

“If Ukraine loses, Putin will never sit at the peace table,” Tajani warned.

Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war were taking center stage at the Capri meeting of the foreign ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, which dovetailed with other regional diplomatic efforts sending the same messages. On Wednesday, EU leaders meeting in Brussels vowed to ramp up sanctions on Iran to target its drone and missile deliveries to proxies in Gaza, Yemen and Lebanon.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he supported a proposal from the House speaker, Mike Johnson, to provide about $61 billion in aid for Ukraine, signaling bipartisan support for the precarious funding bill.

Image courtesy of EU

Share this post