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HomeE.U.European leaders meet in Granada amid tensions over aid to Ukraine

European leaders meet in Granada amid tensions over aid to Ukraine

European leaders are expected to pledge long-term support for Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday, after the US president expressed concern that a lack of unanimity among Republicans in Congress could prevent continued military aid to Ukraine.

Zelensky is expected to attend the European Policy Community summit in Granada. This forum to promote co-operation between more than 40 countries was established last year after the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

Officials familiar with the plans said attending the summit would give him an opportunity to ask for more urgent military aid, such as air defence systems. On Wednesday night, Zelensky posted a video in which he said:

“We are preparing for intensive international activities – this week and next week should be productive for Ukraine.”

The summit in the Spanish city of Granada will give leading European politicians such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak a chance to reiterate their support for Kyiv after the US and Europe’s confidence in supporting Ukraine was shaken.

The disagreement that has erupted between the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has significantly complicated the budget negotiations. Now Biden is no longer confident that the USA is unanimous in its decision to provide aid to Ukraine. However, he claimed on Wednesday:

“It does worry me. But I know there are a majority of members of the House and Senate in both parties who have said that they support funding Ukraine.”

In Slovakia, former Prime Minister Robert Fico and his party came first in the weekend’s general election after pledging to stop sending weapons to Ukraine.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki issued a statement last month saying that his country was halting arms deliveries to Ukraine and would rebuild its own weapons stockpile.

However, some representatives of Kyiv, the European Union (EU) and NATO downplay the significance of these statements. They believe that the West will continue to support Kyiv because it is in its own interest to do so.

Scholz said on Wednesday that he had no doubt Washington would continue to support Ukraine.

Balkan and Caucasus Crisis

Topics such as artificial intelligence, transport, and energy will be on the summit’s agenda.

However, special attention will be paid to discussing the crises between Armenia and Azerbaijan and between Kosovo and Serbia, which have peaked in recent weeks amid uncertain EU mediation efforts.

Earlier, EU officials had hoped to use the summit to hold the first meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, Azerbaijan’s state news agency APA reported on Wednesday that President Ilham Aliyev was not planning to attend the summit. Scholz, Macron and European Council President Charles Michel are also expected to attend the meeting.

Last month, Baku carried out a military operation to seize control of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, leading to the exodus of more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians.

Many EU leaders condemned the Azerbaijani operation. Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of ethnic cleansing, which the President of Azerbaijan denies. He said earlier that Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh could stay but would face a reintegration process.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is expected to attend the summit, and European officials have emphasised that they are keen to find ways to help his government deal with the humanitarian crisis and provide political and economic support.

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