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Top EU diplomat sees 'lasting impact' on Ukraine policy from Middle East crisis

Josep Borrel

Josep Borrel, the European Union's top diplomat, said the fresh outbreak of violence in the Middle East is having a "lasting impact" on policy for Ukraine, and called on European nations to stay unified in their support for the besieged Eastern European nation.

"Let’s be frank: the crisis in the Middle East is already having a lasting impact on our policy in Ukraine," Borrel, the EU high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said at a conference of EU ambassadors.

While he didn't say specifically how the crisis is affecting EU policy on Ukraine, he said a serious risk is that much of the world starts to perceive the global dynamic as one of the Western nations against the rest of the world.

The fear for Ukraine is that the conflict in the Middle East will distract allies and donors from their support for the country, both for the ongoing war and the planned reconstruction.

"Don't forget about Ukraine. More than ever, Ukraine is in [a] struggle to fight against the Russian aggression," Borrel told the ambassadors present. "If Ukraine loses, we lose. We need to keep our unanimity and our unity in supporting Ukraine. We are the first provider of support to Ukraine."

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