Belgium reopens embassy in Kyiv; €500 million more aid

Belgium reopens embassy in Kyiv; €500 million more aid
Illustration image. Credit: Belga

Belgium is currently preparing to reopen the Belgian embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, after it was closed for security reasons in March, announced Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès.

At the beginning of March, the Belgian embassy in the Ukrainian capital closed and its staff was evacuated "due to the changing security situation" about a week after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Following a meeting of the Council of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, Wilmès confirmed that "Foreign Affairs is currently preparing for the reopening of the Belgian embassy in Kyiv," in a press release.

Additionally, Belgium is continuing its support for Ukraine, with an emphasis on military equipment, by agreeing to the third tranche of €500 million to be allocated to the European Peace Facility.

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Wilmès again called for a continuation of diplomatic efforts to convince other nations to pressure Russia for a ceasefire and a withdrawal of troops from Ukraine. She also warned against Russian propaganda, especially on social media, but also in high-level contacts between Russia and third countries.

"Russia does not hesitate to use lies to justify its military aggression and invasion," Wilmès said. "Now Russia is trying to influence our partners by saying that the risks to global food security are linked to European sanctions and not the war in Ukraine. However, it is Russia that has closed the ports on the Sea of Azov, thereby blocking grain exports."

She also reiterated Belgium's support for the fifth sanctions package against Russia and Belarus, and called for the next series of sanctions to be anticipated now – without taboos – and taking into account the loopholes that still need to be closed. These sanctions must be part of a long-term perspective and therefore bearable in the long run.

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