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Business News/ Politics / News/  Ukraine remains top agenda item for EU, says EU’s Sannino
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Ukraine remains top agenda item for EU, says EU’s Sannino

But not here to tell the Indian government what it has to do, says Stefan Sannino, who is the secretary general of the European External Action Service

Ukraine remains a top agenda item for the European Union and will continue to feature prominently in the talks with India, says Stefan Sannino, the secretary general of the European External Action Service, who is in New Delhi for the 2024 Raisina Dialogue. (PTI)Premium
Ukraine remains a top agenda item for the European Union and will continue to feature prominently in the talks with India, says Stefan Sannino, the secretary general of the European External Action Service, who is in New Delhi for the 2024 Raisina Dialogue. (PTI)

New Delhi: Ukraine remains a top agenda item for the European Union and will continue to feature prominently in the grouping’s talks with India, Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the European External Action Service (EEAS), said on Thursday.

EEAS is the diplomatic service of the European Union based in Brussels.

In an interview with Mint on the sidelines of the 2024 Raisina Dialogue, Sannino outlined the EU’s concerns about Russia and the war in Ukraine. He, however, played down talks of differences with India over the conflict, but said the EEAS was “certainly asking" India to be supportive in implementation of sanctions against Russia.

“Russia is a spoiler. Russia is a country that needs to create havoc to be relevant internationally, because it has no other way of having weight. Economically and socially, it is unfortunately shrinking from all points of view," said Sannino.

Sannino acknowledged that the war in Ukraine is not progressing as well as the Western powers had hoped.

Ukraine has called upon its backers to provide more financial and military assistance for its counter-offensive. The country has faced shortages of critical arms and ammunition as it seeks to push Russia back.

The war began after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 to stall its move to join the NATO security alliance.

India has not condemned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and has not joined western sanctions like the crude oil price cap, which aimed to deprive Russia of its energy revenues.

“This is a decision for India. This is not up to us. What I will present to India is our positions and why we feel that this (Ukraine war) is important. We are certainly asking India to be supportive in implementation of the sanctions," Sannino said.

“I’m well aware of the position of India vis-a-vis Russia and the reason why India has a relationship with Russia that continues to be strong. And I’m not here to tell the Indian government what it has to do," Sannino added.

Sannino also highlighted closer India-EU cooperation, particularly on trade and defence.

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Published: 22 Feb 2024, 03:02 PM IST
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