The European Union's top diplomat Josep Borrell informed a news conference on Monday that the EU's satellite center in Madrid, Spain will be used to provide intelligence to inform the Ukrainian government of Russian troop movements.
This as President Zelensky had earlier called next 24 hours "crucial" for Ukraine. Borrell told the press conference, "The European Union has asked its satellite center in Madrid to provide intelligence to Ukraine about Russian troop movements and EU countries are determined to further increase their bilateral military support to Kiyv," according to a summary of his words in Reuters.
On drastic EU-wide punitive economic, trade, and airspace closure measures currently being enacted by Europe, Borrell said: "But we have to be ready to pay the price, or we will have to pay a much higher price in the future." He added: "Relations with Russia will no longer be determined by trade."
Russia has continued signaling dramatic threats as its central bank as well as ability to be on the SWIFT international payment systems is being targeted by the US and Europe, with the latest being another heightened nuclear posture:
Russia’s defense ministry says its strategic missile forces and Northern and Pacific fleets have been placed on enhanced combat duty in line with an order from Putin, according to a report by the Interfax news agency.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that "shifts on duty at the command posts of the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern and Pacific Fleets, and the Long-Range Aviation Command began to carry out combat duty with reinforced personnel", Interfax quoted the ministry as saying.
Given that Borrell has in essence declared the Madrid satellite intelligence post to become a Ukraine-focused command center of sorts, this could mark the first significant step toward a more organized military response from Europe to the Ukraine crisis - or at least the start of sustained military support on the ground. It comes after the EU pledged that members states are sending fighter jets to Ukraine.
At the same time the UK has said it would "support" British citizens traveling to Ukraine in order to join Ukrainian forces in the fight against the Russians.
A truly remarkable statement from a U.K. Foreign Minister supporting any volunteers from the U.K. who wants to go and fight for Ukraine. https://t.co/XDygbl1Hfa— Alex Nice (@AlexNicest) February 27, 2022
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Sunday in response to a question from the BBC on the issue of Britons joining the war: "Absolutely, if people want to support that struggle I would support them in doing that," she said. "That is something people can make their own decisions about. The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe,” Truss said.
However, as one report underscored: "Truss’s comment has taken many by surprise, as it seems to be a direct violation of the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870, which criminalizes British citizens who serve in the armed forces of another country."