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Europe security summit: Ukraine calls for continued support

Published October 5, 2023last updated October 5, 2023

Leaders gathered at the third meeting of the European Political Community to discuss events in Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kosovo. The informal forum was launched after Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy walking outside the summit venue
Zelenskyy said sending military equipment to Ukraine could mean that a "drone, tank, or any other Russian weapon will not strike anyone else in Europe"Image: Manu Fernandez/AP/dpa/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • Leaders from 47 European countries are meeting in the Spanish city of Granada for the European Political Community (EPC) summit
  • The gathering's official agenda includes topics such as transport, energy and artificial intelligence, but will also tackle issues such as Russia's war in Ukraine and migration
  • Escalating tensions between EPC countries, such as Armenia and Azerbaijan and between Kosovo and Serbia, are also set to dominate the meeting

Follow DW's coverage of the summit here: 

Skip next section European Political Community forum wraps up
October 5, 2023

European Political Community forum wraps up

Ukraine took priority at Thursday's summit of European leaders, but the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh also received much attention.

No formal decisions were put on the table as the forum was an informal meeting, but the attendees managed to project a united front of solidarity for Ukraine and confidence that the United States would be able to continue with its own support packages despite aid for Ukraine being blocked recently from the 45-day budget by Republicans.

European leaders were also keen to show support to Armenia as it deals with the more than 100,000 refugees fleeing from Nagorno-Karabakh, and with some hope of luring Yerevan away from Russia's influence.

This live blog is now closed.

Skip next section EU's Charles Michel plans Brussels meet between leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan
October 5, 2023

EU's Charles Michel plans Brussels meet between leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan

European Council President Charles Michel said on the sidelines of the European Political Community meeting in Granada that he plans to invite the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders for talks in Brussels by the end of October.

"We believe in diplomacy. We believe in political dialogue," Michel told reporters as he announced the proposed meeting.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev were supposed to meet during Thursday's summit, but Aliyev pulled out.

It was not clear whether the two men would accept Michel's invitation, but he has been involved in forging a peace process between the two former Soviet states.

The EU's attempts to sit the two leaders down together comes after Azerbaijan launched a lighting invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist region in Azerbaijan that had been home to thousands of ethnic Armenians.

More than 100,000 civilians were subsequently forced to flee.

Armenia at a crossroads after Nagorno-Karabakh exodus

Skip next section Zelenskyy warns Russia could rebuild military, attack others
October 5, 2023

Zelenskyy warns Russia could rebuild military, attack others

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of unwavering "unity and solidarity" in Europe in the face of Russia's war in his country.

He warned Russia could rebuild its military capabilities and attack other countries within five years if the continent were to waver in its support for Kyiv.

"We have to win in Ukraine so that Putin can not scale this aggression to someone, someone else," Zelenskyy told leaders gathered for the European Political Community summit hosted in Spain's Granada.

He asked for continued assistance and more arms to help him fight Russian aggression.

"Let only Putin's ambitions be ruined. Not our countries, not our people, not our cities," Zelenskyy added. 

"Europe must be strong" despite what happens in other places around the globe, Zelenskyy said, calling for more air defense systems,
artillery shells, long-range missiles and drones.

As for concerns over continued US support for Ukraine, Zelenskyy said he was "confident in America" despite "political storms" in Washington and elsewhere.

"They are strong people, strong society with strong institutions, strong energy of democracy."

Skip next section EU promises more humanitarian support for Armenia
October 5, 2023

EU promises more humanitarian support for Armenia

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the EU would double its humanitarian support for Armenia to €10.4 million ($10.9 million).

It comes as more than 100,000 refugees fled to Armenia from Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijani forces seized the breakaway region in September.

"We strongly support Armenia and support it in its humanitarian needs," von der Leyen said.

The EU is also to provide €15 million in budgetary support to Armenia, von der Leyen said.

European Commission President Ursula von der arrives at the the European Political Community summit, in Granada, Spain
Von der Leyen said European leaders would discuss what more could be done to support ArmeniaImage: Jon Nazca/REUTERS

"We will discuss what else we can do to support Armenia in this difficult situation," she added.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev decided not to attend the European Political Community meeting.

"It's a shame that Azerbaijan isn't here, and it's a shame that Turkey, which is the main country supporting Azerbaijan, is not here either," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

European leaders hoped to arrange talks between Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Granada gathering. 

Skip next section Kosovo seeks European action against Serbia
October 5, 2023

Kosovo seeks European action against Serbia

Kosovan President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu wants European countries to sanction Serbia for what she described as a "horrendous act."

Tensions between Belgrade and Pristina soared in late September when Kosovo police were involved in a shootout with around 30 armed Serbs who barricaded themselves in a Serbian Orthodox monastery. A Kosovo policeman and three of the attackers were killed in the incident.

"There is no reason to meet (with Serbia) before sanctions are adopted," Osmani-Sadriu said as she arrived at the European Political Community summit.

De-escalating the long-running conflict between the two countries was not expected in Granada as Osmani-Sadriu role as president is largely ceremonial. 

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has never recognized Kosovo as an independent nation.

Skip next section US infighting over Ukraine funding 'bad news' for Europe
October 5, 2023

US infighting over Ukraine funding 'bad news' for Europe

The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said Europe will not be able to fill the gap if the United States does not continue support for Ukraine.

"Ukraine needs the support of the European Union ... but also the support of the US," Borrell said.

It comes after military aid for Ukraine was left out of a last-minute US Congress deal over the weekend. 

Borrell said it was "bad news" and hoped it was not yet the final position.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was confident the US would continue supporting Ukraine. 

"As far as I [see] the situation in the United States, I am very confident of support for Ukraine from the United States – what the United States is working on is the timing," she said.

Von der Leyen added that she discussed the issue with US President Joe Biden

Skip next section Leaders to engage in a round of 'speed-dating'
October 5, 2023

Leaders to engage in a round of 'speed-dating'

DW's Senior European correspondent Bernd Riegert says leaders will start with a round of so-called speed-dating, or quick one-on-one meetings between all the leaders attending the Granada summit. 

Skip next section Spain's Sanchez sees challenges over EU enlargement
October 5, 2023

Spain's Sanchez sees challenges over EU enlargement

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said adding eight new members to the European Union would create many internal challenges, but noted that Madrid was open to a larger EU. 

The bloc's leaders will discuss its capacity to absorb new members at the meeting in Granada.

Spain holds the EU's rotating presidency until the end of the year.

Eight countries currently have official EU candidate status — Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia — while two, Georgia and Kosovo, are potential candidate countries.

Going through the accession process and eventually joining the bloc takes a lot of reforms and time, and it also requires unanimous decisions by all current members.

It is part of the reason French President Emmanuel Macron set up the European Political Community in 2022.

At the time, Macron said it could take "decades" for Ukraine to join the EU. He argued for a new grouping that "would allow democratic European nations" to "find a new space for political and security cooperation."

The EPC includes 27 countries from the EU and 20 from countries around it. The bloc will discuss the enlargement plan on Friday.

Skip next section Ukraine's Zelenskyy in Spain for EPC summit
October 5, 2023

Ukraine's Zelenskyy in Spain for EPC summit

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives at the Europe Summit in Granada, Spain
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives at the Europe Summit in Granada, SpainImage: Fermin Rodriguez/AP Photo/picture alliance

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is attending the summit in Granada.

Russia's war in Ukraine will likely again dominate the EPC meeting in Granada. 

European leaders were expected to assure Zelenskyy of long-term support. A crucial gesture after further military aid to Kyiv was excluded from a last-minute US congressional budget deal over the weekend. 

Zelenskyy wrote on X, formerly Twitter, he wanted to pay special attention "to the Black Sea region as well as our joint efforts to strengthen global food security and freedom of navigation."

He said another key priority was strengthening Ukraine's air defenses as winter approaches.

Skip next section Azerbaijan and Armenia talks at summit off
October 5, 2023

Azerbaijan and Armenia talks at summit off

A meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the first since Baku's military operation last month to take control of Nagorno-Karabakh, was canceled.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev decided not to attend the summit.

The meeting had been aimed at preventing any further escalation, but Aliyev has been angered by "pro-Armenian statements by French officials" and because Paris has said it plans to deliver military equipment to Yerevan,  an Azerbaijani official said.

The official said Aliyev's decision was also about statements by EU Council President Charles Michel.

Michel, who has mediated several meetings between the foes in recent years, criticized Baku's use of military force.

Skip next section Sunak and Meloni to push tough action on migration
October 5, 2023

Sunak and Meloni to push tough action on migration

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni will meet with other European partners on the EPC sidelines to discuss "joint action" against "organized immigration crime."

"Levels of illegal migration to mainland Europe are the highest they have been in nearly a decade. With thousands of people dying at sea, propelled by people smugglers, the situation is both immoral and unsustainable," Sunak said in a statement ahead of the meeting.

"We cannot allow criminal gangs to decide who comes to Europe’s shores."

Their meeting comes despite a breakthrough agreement of European Union diplomats earlier in the week on a migration reform package to go before the European Parliament to share responsibility for undocumented arrivals better.

Thursday's EPC meeting will be followed on Friday by a meeting of the EU's 27 leaders, with talks expected to focus on enlargement and migration.

lo/kb (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)