Fri. May 27th, 2022
Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borrell Fontelles (centre-left) visiting Kyiv and Bucha on 8 April 2022. Source: EU Commission

Kyiv, 8 April 2022

“Check against delivery”

Thank you, dear Volodymyr,

Let me start by saying that the missile attack this morning on a train station used for evacuations of civilians is despicable. I am appalled by the loss of life and I offer my deep condolences to the families of the victims and all of those who lost loved ones.

It was important to start my visit in Bucha today. Because in Bucha our humanity was shattered. And it is right and just that the world voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council. This war is a challenge for the entire international community. And this is a decisive moment. Will heinous devastation win or humanity prevail? Will the right of might dominate or is it the rule of law? Will there be constant conflict and struggle or a future of common prosperity?

Your fight is our fight. I am here with you in Kyiv today to tell you that Europe is on your side. This is the message, dear Volodymyr, I want to bring to the Ukrainian people today.

We just discussed how to step it up Europe’s support. Let me be clear: We can never match the sacrifice of the Ukrainian people. But we are mobilising our economic power to make Putin pay a heavy price. We have imposed five waves of unprecedented sanctions against Russia. And we are already preparing the next wave. We are now moving into a system of rolling sanctions. And these sanctions are biting hard. Exports in goods to Russia have fallen almost 71%. Inflation is around 20% – and rising. Businesses confidence in Russia is at its lowest level since 1995. And the best and brightest minds are leaving the country, together with more than 700 private companies. On top of this, Member States have already frozen EUR 225 billion of private Russian assets in the EU since the beginning of the war. Russia will decent in economic, financial and technological decay. While Ukraine is marching towards a European future.

We stand with you as you defend your country. This is my second point. Ukrainian people are holding up the torch of freedom for all of us. The European Union is sending weapons to your country. We have allocated EUR 1 billion from the European Peace Facility to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces. And more will come. I am grateful the High Representative will now propose another EUR 500 million. In addition, EU Member States are delivering military equipment on an unprecedented scale. Slovakia is a shining example for that. With this we support the brave Ukrainian soldiers, fighting for Ukraine´s freedom. And for everyone’s freedom.

Third, we are strengthening our financial help for Ukraine. Today, we are delivering on EUR 1 billion of support. This sum consists of three different financial packages. As we speak, we are transferring EUR 120 million in budget support. We will make available the EUR 330 million from our emergency package now. Both are grants. And we are accelerating the second half of the macro-financial assistance package with EUR 600 million.

Fourth, we are with Ukrainians as they seek refuge within our borders. And I promise you: We will take good care of them until it is safe to return home. Home to a free and prosperous Ukraine. We make sure, that they have access to housing, schools, medical care and work. The brave people of Ukraine deserve nothing less. Together with Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, of Canada we are convening a pledging event in Warsaw tomorrow. We call our campaign ‘Stand up for Ukraine’. We will mobilise support for people fleeing the war inside and outside Ukraine. This campaign is yet another proof that Ukraine´s cause today is the world´s cause.

Finally, we are with you as you dream of Europe. Dear Volodymyr, my message today is clear: Ukraine belongs in the European family. We have heard your request, loud and clear. And today, we are here to give you a first, positive answer. In this envelope, dear Volodymyr, there is an important step towards EU membership. This questionnaire is the basis for our discussion in the coming months. This is where your path towards the European Union begins. We will be at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to work on this common basis. Ukraine is a friend, we know this very well. Ukraine shares our values. And due to our association agreement, Ukraine is already closely aligned with our Union. So we will accelerate this process as much as we can, while ensuring that all conditions are respected.

On the first day of your mandate, dear Volodymyr, you said: ‘We have chosen Europe as our direction. But Europe’, you said, ‘Europe is not somewhere else. Europe is here in our mind. And when Europe is in our mind, then Europe will come to our country too.’

Today, more than ever, Europe is here. Europe is with you.

Slava Ukraini.

Source – EU Commission

Source: Audiovisual service of the EU Commission

Source: Audiovisual service of the EU Commission

Volodymyr Zelenskyy started a meeting with Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borrell in Kyiv

8 April 2022 – 17:56

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy began his meeting with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell who arrived in Ukraine.

Negotiations will take place in a narrow circle, after which the Head of State and EU representatives will make statements to Ukrainian and foreign media and answer their questions.

Source – Ukrainian President


Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell after the meeting with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv

Brussels, 8.04.2022

Mr President, I am really touched by what I have seen, by what I heard and by what I felt today. Certainly, there are two words to describe what is happening in Ukraine.

One word is failure. A big failure of the Russian army that has not been able to overcome your courage.

And the other word is horror: the horror of civilians being attacked, being killed in an indiscriminate way. So, we are in the presence of war crimes and we will help you, we will help the Ukrainian prosecutor to present the proofs in front of the International Criminal Court.

Our EU Advisory Mission, which was working here, before the war, will deploy their effective means, tools, capacities in order to support you, and we have also allocated 7 million euros to support you in this task.

Our Delegation will be coming back to Kyiv. It is important news to announce today: our Delegation is coming back, the EU is coming back to Kyiv, and I am sure that other Delegations and Embassies from Member States will follow.

And, the third issue I think is important to stress – since you are fighting for us, the least thing that we can do, is to give you arms. You have received lot of applauses, you have been in many parliaments in [Member States of] European union. And you got a lot of support and applauses.  But you need arms, arms, arms. We have [already] allocated one billion euro and I hope that in couple of days we will be able to allocate 500 million more. And we will do everything in order that these resources will be tailored to your needs, to provide you with the arms you need to fight to resist and to win.

Thank you!

Source – EEAS


Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Eduard Heger, in Kyiv

8 April 2022 – 23:08

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Eduard Heger who is on a visit to our country.

The President thanked the Slovak people and personally the Prime Minister of Slovakia for supporting Ukraine and providing real assistance in the form of weapons that strengthen our country’s defense capabilities in times of the Russian invasion.

“I want to thank the Slovak people and the Slovak Prime Minister not for the future, but for the present, for what they are doing for us during the war. Fully supporting us, our position, condemning the aggression of the Russian Federation not only in words, but also in deeds,” said the President of Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that he would not disclose details of this support and stressed that this was historically important assistance.

According to the Head of State, during today’s visit of Eduard Heger to Kyiv, the Prime Minister of Slovakia also held talks with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, and many important issues for the future of our state were discussed.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the Slovak side for supporting Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homes due to Russia’s military invasion.

For his part, the Prime Minister of Slovakia thanked the President and the citizens of Ukraine who are fighting for the ideals of freedom and democracy, defending European values.

Eduard Heger noted that the Slovak Republic will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine, because the successful struggle of our country is a success for the whole of Europe. In particular, he focused on the defense support for the Ukrainian state.

The Prime Minister of Slovakia also stressed the importance of establishing a fund for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

Source – Ukrainian President