The head of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday to Discuss with the Ukrainian authorities the aid of the European Union (EU) and the way to advance in its process of accession to the Twenty-seven.
“In kyiv, for my third visit since the beginning of the Russian war. Much has changed. Ukraine is now an EU candidate”, Von der Leyen posted on Twitter.
According to him, during the visit he will discuss with the president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, and the prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, how to continue bringing economies closer together and to the people as kyiv moves towards accession, Ukrainian agencies point out.
Dear Volodymyr @ZelenskyyUAthank you so much for the award of the First Class of the Order of Yaroslav the Wise.
This is a great honour.
I accept it in the name of all EU citizens.
And as a symbol of our strong bond. pic.twitter.com/6W8JPLTao3
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) September 15, 2022
This is the third time that the EC president has visited Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24. The new visit comes when the Ukrainian Army has launched a successful counteroffensive to recover the territory that the Russians had occupied, especially in the south and east of the country.
It also takes place on the day after the speech of the State of the European Union that Von der Leyen delivered this Wednesday in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France) and that the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, witnessed in the hemicycle.
Von der Leyen announced during the debate a 100 million euro package for the reconstruction of schools destroyed by Russian attacks and was convinced that both the sanctions against Russia and the macro-financial support for Ukraine will remain active.
It also advanced that the EU has started work to improve Ukraine’s access to the single European market and its entry into the Community zone for telephone roaming, and that he will discuss these developments with Zelensky during his trip.
“For the first time in the history of the European Union, a non-EU country was represented in a special session of the European Parliament during the annual report on the state of the EU: this is our country”, Zelensky said last night in a video address.
The Ukrainian president stated that his country is “working for full membership, politically, legally and symbolically” in the EU.
Zelensky specified that the hundred million euros will go to the reconstruction of 74 schools in Ukraine and that they will do everything possible to “implement a large-scale social initiative: the cancellation of ‘roaming’ fees for Ukrainians in the EU and for Europeans in Ukraine”.
“This will be a strong signal of our rapprochement,” Zelensky stressed, who thanked Von der Leyen and “all our friends in the European Union for their unwavering support.”
(With information from EFE)
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