The European Union is giving Ukraine another 500 million euros ($520 million) to buy heavy weapons to fend off the Russian invasion, the bloc’s foreign affairs chief said Friday at a gathering of top diplomats from the Group of Seven (G-7) wealthy nations.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, said he was also hopeful of getting the bloc’s member nations to agree to an oil embargo against Russia soon, despite misgivings from some countries.
“We will provide a new tranche of 500 more million to support the military of Ukraine,” Borrell told reporters ahead of the G-7 meeting in Weissenhaus, on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast.
The funds would be allocated for the purchase of heavy weapons and take the EU’s total financial support for Ukraine to 2 billion euros, he added.
The meeting, attended also by Germany, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States, would also seek to find more ways of piling pressure on Russia through economic sanctions, isolating Moscow internationally, and countering disinformation spread by Russia, Borrell said.
EU diplomats will hold talks Monday on a possible oil embargo against Russia, which Hungary has resisted because of its heavy dependence on Russian imports.
“We need this agreement and we will have it,” said Borrell.
“We have to understand the specific circumstances of every one of the 27 member states,” he added. “But if there is not agreement at the level of the ambassadors Monday, the ministers, when they gather the Foreign Affairs Council, they have to provide the political impetus.”
Borrell said it was important the G-7 meeting should present a “united front,” a sentiment echoed by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
Among the issues on the agenda in Weissenhaus is how to unblock millions of tons of grain stuck in Ukraine, a major agricultural exporter, that are urgently needed to ease food shortages around the world.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and his counterpart from neighboring Moldova, Nicu Popescu, were invited to attend the meeting as guests.
About 3,500 police officers were deployed at the event site northeast of Hamburg to provide security.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief also said Friday he is hopeful that stalled talks with Iran on a deal over the country’s nuclear program can reach an agreement.
Talks between Tehran and world powers have been deadlocked lately in part over an Iranian demand that the United States lift a terrorist designation on the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the G-7 major economies in Germany, Borrell said that the bloc’s envoy had visited Tehran this week for talks that had “gone better than expected.”
“These kind of things cannot be solved overnight, but let’s say the negotiations were blocked and they have been deblocked. Which means there is a perspective of reaching a final agreement.”