European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and EU Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi will visit Ukraine today.
His visit comes as Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border increases. The EU and individual members have publicly spoken out against the increase in Russian troops of up to 100,000 since the beginning of 2021.The EU has also pledged to support Ukraine if conflict breaks out, specifically a financial aid package of $1.36 Billion. The EU offering its public support for Ukraine has not quelled Russian fears of Ukraine leaning westward.
Concerns that conflict might break out have become so great that the US and UK have withdrawn diplomatic personnel from Ukraine. There is hope among EU officials that this can be resolved diplomatically. As such, today’s meeting is likely to take place. Also occurring today, in response to growing tensions over the past week, is a meeting between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Paris in an effort to de-escalate tensions between the two. It will take more than just these meetings to lessen tensions or for Russian troops to be withdrawn. While drawdown would be preferable, it seems unlikely to occur on a large scale with no solutions resulting from past diplomatic conversations.
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Gabbi is the Recruitment and Outrech Coordinator at Foreign Brief. She also writes for the Daily Brief where her regional focus centers on Europe and the former USSR. Gabbi's specialization is in intelligence and international law.