July 2, 2022

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War in Ukraine: von der Leyen Zelensky promised in Kyiv to speed up the EU accession process and more money to buy weapons |  international

War in Ukraine: von der Leyen Zelensky promised in Kyiv to speed up the EU accession process and more money to buy weapons | international

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen used her symbolic visit to Ukraine on Friday to pledge President Volodymyr Zelensky to speed up his country’s accession process to the European Union and increase the Supply Fund by 500 million euros. He confirmed at a press conference in Kyiv after returning with the head of community diplomacy, Josep Borrell, from the theater One of the greatest horrors of war, the town of Bucha, As the commander said, “the unimaginable happened.”

To illustrate the commitment to expedite entry into the Community Club, von der Leyen hand-delivered to Zelenski a technical document of the membership process, Requested by Ukraine Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion. “It will not be a matter of years, as usual, to form an opinion, but I think weeks,” said von der Leyen as part of the visit, which was also aimed at announcing the reopening of the EU diplomatic mission. In Kyiv as a sign of things returning to normal and confidence that the Ukrainian government is in control of the country.

The document, which the two leaders scrolled through with a smile at the end of the appearance, is called a questionnaire in community parlance. The European Commission serves to measure a country’s readiness for candidate status. The Commission does not make a decision on any country’s entry into the Union, but forms the “opinion” stated by von der Leyen on recommending it to the European Council, that is, the 27 member states that must approve it unanimously. Zelensky pledged to complete it within a week.

With the announcement of an increase in military aid during the visit, the amount earmarked for providing arms to Ukraine now amounts to 1,500 million euros. “The least we can do is give you weapons,” Borrell said, looking at Zelensky, in a short post at the encore. “You need guns, rifles, shotguns.”

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Besides the announcements, the exodus — which began with the early morning train arrival from Poland on a trip that also involved the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Eduard Heger — has an obvious symbolic element for two reasons. On the other hand, given the strength of the image of two prominent community leaders meeting with Zelensky in Kyiv itself, whose arrest seemed imminent on the third day of the invasion, when Russian troops were fighting Ukrainian forces on a bridge a few kilometers from the presidential palace.

The visit, the highest level for the city during the 44 days of the war, comes after Russian troops Withdrew from the outskirts of the country’s capital Concentrating its offensive in the south and east of the region, it launched an attack on the Kramatorsk railway station At least 50 people were killed on Friday They were trying to escape from the war. Borrell defined the bombing on Twitter as “another attempt to block the exit routes for those fleeing this unprovoked war” and, later, von der Leyen enshrined the adjectives “horrific”, “terrible” and “terrible”.

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It is also emblematic of the inclusion of Bucha, a city northwest of Kyiv whose images of civilian corpses — some in handcuffs — in streets and mass graves have become iconic, prompting on Thursday the first sanctions against Russia’s energy sector and expulsion from Moscow of the United Nations Human Rights Council with 79% of the valid vote.

“We have seen the cruel face of an army [Vladímir] put it in the . “We saw recklessness and ruthlessness there,” von der Leyen said of Bucha. In Kyiv, Borrell declared he was “very moved” by what he witnessed there, spoke directly about “war crimes” and promised EU assistance to Ukrainian prosecutors investigating whether the troops were The Russian has committed these crimes and is facing the International Criminal Court.

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Since his arrival in the Ukrainian capital, Borrell wanted to emphasize the meaning of his existence. Ukraine controls its territory. It is not an occupied and controlled country. And he declared that there is still a government that receives people from abroad and you can travel to Kyiv.” At the subsequent press conference with Zelensky, he returned to that idea by mentioning the “failure” of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the face of Ukraine’s “courage.” Emphasizing the Russian withdrawal, he emphasized On the reopening of the diplomatic mission of the European Union. I can confirm the return of the European Union to Kyiv. It is literal: the head of our delegation will return to Kyiv, so we will be able to work more directly and closely,” he emphasized.

European leaders arrived with a recent achievement in the bag: The first sanctions on the Russian energy sector. The fifth package of measures, approved on Thursday, includes a ban on imports of Russian coal that was not included in the draft a week ago. At the press conference, von der Leyen defended its effectiveness as “harmful and smart, because it does more harm to Russia than us,” but Zelensky considered it “insufficient” and called for new “deep” measures and “full implementation” of the above. . Hungary, led by Viktor Orban, opposes any further move, such as shutting off the Russian oil or gas tap.

In their meetings with Zelensky, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyal, von der Leyen and Borrell, the commission chief said they conveyed a “very strong message: the EU is with you”. “Your battle is our battle,” he added. The Ukrainian president considered the visit “a very strong signal that Ukraine and the European Union are together.”

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The displacement was characterized by strict security measures. The location of the press conference after the meeting with Zelensky was kept secret and journalists were called at the last moment to a meeting point. Early in the morning, the Slovak Prime Minister confirmed on Twitter his arrival in Kyiv from the Przemysl train station a few minutes after Borrell announced that they were on their way and von der Leyen expressed his desire to reach the capital. Ukraine’s presidential spokesman, Sergei Nikiforov, stated at the time that no details would be made public for security reasons.

The Prime Minister of Slovakia offered Zelensky to help his country to sell Ukrainian wheat and contain the increase in its price around the world, by 22% since the beginning of the Russian invasion. The suggestion is that Ukraine, a large producer of this grain, exports it through the logistics center in Kosice, a Slovak city very close to the Hungarian border and a few dozen kilometers from Ukraine.

Von der Leyen and Borrell, in the flight photo posted on the Twitter account of the EU High Representative. Tweet embed

On Saturday, leaders in Warsaw will participate in a fundraising event for war refugees. His visit is the second for community representatives after last week’s visit by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Mitsula, who also met with Zelensky. On March 15, when the situation around Kyiv was more dire, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki traveled with Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the conservative PiS, Jaroslaw Kaczynski; From Slovenia, Janez Jansa, and from the Czech Republic Peter Viala, In an initiative that the European Commission shunned.

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