By Editor-July 1st, 2023.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky will not be a participant in the summit between the European Union (EU) and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) scheduled for this month in Brussels.
Although Spanish President Pedro Sanchez invited the Ukrainian president to be at that high-level event, aparently some unnamed Latin American leaders opposed his presence.
“He invited me but some Latin American leaders blocked the invitation,” Zelensky said during an interview with Spanish media on Friday, when he thanked Sanchez for his support in bringing Ukraine closer to Latin America.
On Friday, President Sanchez stated that European leaders have agreed on the need to “make a qualitative leap” in the relationship between the European Union and Latin America to ensure the “continuity and regularity” of the EU-CELAC summits.
“We cannot miss this opportunity to launch a true multidimensional strategic partnership that encompasses more than just trade issues,” he said after a European Council meeting.
Starting June 17, the two-day Brussels meeting will offer the possibility of establishing a “structured and permanent dialogue mechanism” to avoid eight years passing between meetings again, Sanchez said, referring to the last time the EU and CELAC met.
He also recalled that the European Union is pending the discussion and perfection of free trade agreements with Chile, Mexico, and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).
The Ukrainian war revealed that the EU must “forge new relationships with other parts of the world and diversify its dependencies,” Sanchez said, emphasizing that European countries and Latin American nations can “find many synergies.”
Meanwhile, it is slow going on the ground in Ukraine’s fightback counteroffensive against Russia.
Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russia will be difficult and “very bloody”, the US’ highest-ranking military officer has predicted.
Gen Mark Milley said he was unsurprised that progress had been slower than predicted – but added that Ukraine was “advancing steadily”.
“It goes a little slow, but that is part of the nature of war,” he said.
It comes as Volodymyr Zelensky accused “some” Western partners of delaying promised training for Ukrainian pilots.
President Zelensky has himself previously acknowledged that the Ukrainian offensive was making slow progress.
Sources: Telesur, BBC.