West must provide more military aid to Ukraine, EU’s Borrell says | Russia-Ukraine war News

Foreign policy chief supports Estonian proposal for EU to buy ammunition on behalf of its members to help Ukraine.

The West must provide more military aid to Ukraine and speed up its deliveries, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, says.

“Much more has to be done and much quicker,” Borrell said at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday. “There is still a lot to be done. We have to increase and accelerate our military support.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western allies to speed up their military aid for Ukraine, warning attendees at the conference on Friday that delays would play into Russia’s hands as the invasion approaches its first anniversary.

Borrell said he supports an Estonian proposal for the EU to buy ammunition on behalf of its members to help Ukraine.

“I completely agree with the Estonian prime minister’s proposal, and we are working on that, and it will work,” Borrell said.

The war in Ukraine has dominated discussions at the Munich conference, an annual gathering of security and defence officials from around the world.

About 40 heads of state and government, other politicians and security experts from almost 100 countries are attending the three-day gathering as fears persist that the fighting in Ukraine could generate a new cold war.

Ukraine depends on Western weapons to thwart Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambition to seize large areas of the country. The military aid has become a test of foreign governments’ resolve as its price tag increases.

“There is no alternative to speed because it’s speed that life depends on,” Zelenskyy argued at the conference in Germany.

EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss the idea of joint procurement of 155mm artillery shells at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, Reuters news agency reported.

Officials and diplomats from the EU say such an approach would be more efficient than EU members placing individual orders.

Larger orders would also help the defence industry invest in extra capacity, they said.

Russia hits back against US allegations

Also on Sunday, Russia accused the United States of trying to “demonise” and foment the crisis in Ukraine with allegations of Russian crimes against humanity, Russia’s ambassador to the US said.

Washington has formally concluded that Russia has committed “crimes against humanity” during its invasion of Ukraine, Vice President Kamala Harris said on Saturday.

“We regard such insinuations as an unprecedented attempt to demonise Russia in the framework of the hybrid war unleashed against us,” Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said in a statement on the Russian embassy’s Telegram page.

“There is no doubt that the purpose of such attacks by Washington is to justify its own actions to fuel the Ukrainian crisis,” he said.

Organisations supported by the US Agency for International Development have documented more than 30,000 war crime incidents since the invasion, according to the US government.

Ukrainian officials said their latest war crime investigation is over Thursday’s shelling of the eastern city of Bakhmut.

The UN-backed Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine says it has identified war crimes but has not concluded whether they amount to crimes against humanity.

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