The EU-Ukraine summit will be held today, in view of which the EU Council has adopted aid that will be financed through the European peace instrument (Epf). The goal is to give further military assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is a seventh package worth €500 million and a new €45 million assistance measure to support the training efforts of the European Union Military Assistance Mission (EuMam Ukraine).
“Ukraine – said the High Representative Josep Borrell – should get all the necessary military equipment and training to defend its territory and its people from Russia’s war of aggression. They are not only defending their country, but they are also defending our common values and the fundamental principles of international law. New measures send a clear message at a crucial moment: we will continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary and as long as necessary”.
The seventh package brings the total EU contribution under the EPF for Ukraine to €3.6 billion. The objective of the measure in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine trained under EuMam Ukraine is to provide necessary non-lethal equipment and supplies as well as services in support of training activities.
Yesterday the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Kiev, for a meeting between the college and the Ukrainian government, together with 15 other commissioners. Accompanying her are Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager, Valdis Dombrovskis, Josep Borrell (High Representative), Maroš Šefčovič, Věra Jourová, Margaritis Schinas, and Commissioners Nicolas Schmit, Paolo Gentiloni, Janusz Wojciechowski, Didier Reynders, Ylva Johansson, Janez Lenarčič, Olivér Várhelyi, Virginijus Sinkevicius, Mairead McGuinness. The meeting was an opportunity to exchange information on the numerous sectors of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine and to discuss the country’s imminent reconstruction and European path. The President of the European Council Charles Michel will also take part in the EU-Ukraine summit today.
Von der leyen
“The clear message of this meeting is that we stand with Ukraine more firmly than ever,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, at a press conference in Kiev together with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. The meeting between the college of commissioners and the Ukrainian government discussed, he continued, how “to integrate our economies more and how to deepen our ties. We include Ukraine in a series of key EU programmes: that for the single market, for justice, for citizens. Very soon you will be able to apply for the programmes: this means support for small and medium-sized enterprises, access to new markets, assistance in creating a robust judicial system, with cross-border collaboration projects , so that for example lawyers from the EU and Ukraine can create lasting partnerships”.
“You became candidates while you are at war and continue to make important progress,” he said shortly before alongside the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. “It comforts me to see that anti-corruption authorities are on the alert” and that there is a “rapid political reaction. Today we are proposing to Ukraine joining key European programmes, which will give Ukraine benefits close to EU membership in many areas. we will discuss now and I will be happy to give further details in the press conference later,” she added. Europe “has been on Ukraine’s side since day one. We know that the future of the continent is written here. We know that you are fighting for more than yourselves. What is at stake is freedom: this is a fight of the democracies against authoritarian regimes”, underlined Von de Leyen. .
“Vladimir Putin – he continued – tries to deny the existence of Ukraine, but what he risks instead is the future of Russia. It has been almost a year since Putin launched his brutal invasion, a year of suffering but also of legendary courage on the part of the Ukrainian people. A year of impressive unity of the international community”. “Reconstruction is a great matter and we are at your side. Together we will rebuild this beautiful country”, said the president of the European Commission. The “economic, humanitarian and military support of the EU to Ukraine since the beginning of the war amounts to almost 50 billion. We will overcome this winter, dear Volodymyr, and many more to come”, recalled von der Leyen.
“I believe that Ukraine deserves to get closer to the opening of EU accession negotiations already this year”, Zelensky said in his evening speech, thanking “the president of the European Commission, her colleagues and our friends in the EU for their tangible support in the path of integration and in the protection of our state and our people”. The Ukrainian head of state then added that “with our further integration” towards the European Union ”we must give energy and motivation to our people to fight despite any obstacles and threats”. “The future of Europe is written right here, in Ukraine”, Zelensky had already written on Twitter, echoing the words pronounced in Kiev by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “This is a battle for freedom, sovereignty and democracy”.
Russia is concentrating its forces, we all know that. He is preparing to try to get his revenge, not only against Ukraine, but against free Europe and the whole free world,” Zelensky said, speaking of the risk of a new Russian offensive coinciding with the first anniversary of the start of the conflict, on 24 February.