Ursula von der Leyen in Kiev: We are here to show that the EU is firmly on the side of Ukraine

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For the support of the EU, he assured on Thursday (2/2) the Ukraine the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen upon her arrival in Kyiv today, where she is expected to meet with members of the Ukrainian government.

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Ursula von der Leyen is accompanied by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, and 15 other European commissioners.

“It’s nice to be back at Kyiv, for the fourth time since the Russian invasion, and this time together with my team of commissioners,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. The post was accompanied by a photo of her at the Kyiv train station.

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“We are here together to show that the EU is firmly on the side of Ukraine. And to further deepen our support and cooperation”, he added.

European Council President Charles Michel is expected tomorrow, Friday, in the Ukrainian capital for the EU-Ukraine summit, which will also be attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The two-day visit by European officials to Kyiv comes after the Ukrainian government said in a statement that it expects the EU to provide a road map on how the country can start accession negotiations “as soon and as successfully as possible”.

Joining the EU is a long and complicated process. Tomorrow’s meeting is likely to recognize the progress Ukraine has made in some areas, such as reforms to its judicial system.

A draft of the joint statement, obtained by Reuters, states that “the EU will decide on next steps once all conditions are fully met. Ukraine underlined its determination to fulfill the necessary conditions in order to start accession negotiations as soon as possible.”

The EU is also expected to announce tomorrow that it will train an additional 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, doubling its original target, to help Ukraine counter the Russian invasion. At the same time, the provision of humanitarian and financial support to Kyiv will be discussed.

The visit has an additional symbolic character, as the first anniversary of the start of the war approaches, with the Commission describing it as a “powerful symbol” of European support for Ukraine, “in the face of Russia’s unjustified attack”.

Source: News Beast

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