Croatia hopes to draw global attention to the issue of mine removal in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said in Kyiv on Monday, where he is participating in a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
“This is the first time we have an EU27 meeting of foreign ministers in Kyiv, and it sends a strong message of how united we are in supporting Ukraine,” Grlic-Radman said.
“Today we will discuss how to strengthen our security obligations to Ukraine, in line with Ukraine’s needs,” he said.
“My country understands and supports these efforts. We know what Ukraine is going through because we had a similar experience of aggression in the 1990s, and that is why we are helping in many areas, from mine removal and reconstruction to the investigation of war crimes,” the minister continued.
“Zagreb will soon host an international donor conference for demining Ukraine, and we hope to attract more global attention to this issue, which is a condition for the country’s recovery and reconstruction,” he said.
The donor conference is scheduled for 11 and 12 October.
News agencies have previously reported that one of the topics of today’s meeting in Kyiv will be the proposal of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on longer-term financial aid to the Ukrainian army, as well as on the use of European money to provide the war-affected country with fighter jets and missiles.
The Spaniard wants to set aside five billion euros annually from 2024 to the end of 2027, but it is not expected that the ministers will accept this proposal already in Kyiv.
Monday’s meeting will likely also deal with Ukraine’s path to EU membership, after it received candidate status in June 2022.
All 27 member states have yet to reach a unanimous decision on opening negotiations with Kyiv. Most countries have sent their ministers to Kyiv. Poland, which recently cooled its relations with Ukraine, sent a deputy minister, and Hungary sent a senior diplomat.