Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday that the Kremlin was funnelling resources towards creating divisions among Kyiv’s allies and urged them to unite in the face of pressure from Russia.
Kuleba spoke after a historic first meeting of European Union foreign ministers beyond the bloc’s borders, as disagreements over support for Ukraine have grown.
“Putin’s greatest expectation is precisely that the West and the world will tire of standing on the side of Ukraine in this war. Russia is directing huge resources to this,” Kuleba said during a press conference with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
“We should not play along with them,” he added.
“Today’s visit is not about symbolism... it is a concrete tool to counter narratives about a so-called lack of unity,” he added.
Kuleba also called on the EU’s support to resume regular exports through the Black Sea.
Ukraine has been pushing for support for a naval route since Moscow scrapped a deal in July guaranteeing safe passage of grain exports in the Black Sea.
“If the EU and Ukraine join forces to guarantee the security of this corridor, then this corridor will be able to work at full capacity,” Kuleba said.
He did not specify what support he was seeking from Brussels.
The end of the grain export deal in July has seen a huge influx of Ukrainian grain being shipped via the European Union, driving down local prices and spurring protests in countries like Poland.
When Russia withdrew from the grain deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, it threatened to attack cargo ships approaching Ukrainian ports.
Its warships have not targeted ships using the new route but Moscow has stepped up aerial attacks on Ukraine’s Black Sea port infrastructure after abandoning the grain deal.
“A sea corridor through which Ukrainian grain can be exported to the world without the involvement of Russia is possible. We have already demonstrated it,” Kuleba said, referring to ships that have successfully navigated the new route that hugs the coast of Ukraine.
Poland has extended an embargo against Ukrainian grain imports, deepening a diplomatic spat between Kyiv and Warsaw.
Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022 and is one of Kyiv’s main weapons suppliers.