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Ukraine. Ursula von der Leyen in Kiev. She met with Volodymyr Zelensky

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The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, praised the Ukrainian authorities in Kiev on Thursday for “enormous progress” on the path of European integration. She announced the donation of EUR 100 million of aid for the renovation of schools destroyed during the war with Russia and announced that the European Union wanted to increase energy supplies from Ukraine.

– The process of obtaining membership (of Ukraine in the EU) continues. I would like to note that Ukraine is making great strides on this path. As you know, we support you wherever we can. I do not have to talk about accelerating the process, because you yourself are accelerating it and it is very good, von der Leyen said at a joint press conference with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president stressed that Ukraine and European Union should jointly respond to the challenges of the coming winter. – We discussed the issue of energy challenges. We see the Russian enemy attacking our combined heat and power plants and energy infrastructure. There will be many such challenges during the coming winter. This should be understood and worked together. Because European Union countries they also face complex challenges and we understand that we have to help each other, ‘he said.

Zelenskiy thanked the Union for the possibility of connecting Ukraine’s energy networks to the European ones.

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– It is really a big help. We are all interested in this. European Union countries can get cheap electricity from Ukraine and this will help people in the European Union. Ukraine can earn money on this and it will help us to pay salaries and pensions in this difficult period – he said.

Ursula von der Leyen and Volodymyr Zelensky in KievPAP / Viacheslav Ratynskyi

Head of the European Commission on energy supplies from Ukraine

Von der Leyen pointed out that cooperation in the field of energy is very good. – You’ve done a lot already. You spoke about energy networks. We can recall that at the beginning of this terrible war there was a plan that in 2024 Ukrainian networks would be connected to European ones. We did it in two weeks and since then Ukraine has been supplying energy to the European Union. We want to increase this cooperation because it brings stable income, for example for Ukraine – she said.

In Kiev, the president of the European Commission congratulated the Ukrainian troops on the recent successes on the front lines of the war with Russia and called on EU countries to maintain military aid.

– I want to congratulate you on your military successes. I am impressed to see the heroism of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, whose success lifted the spirits not only of the Ukrainian people, but also of all your friends, she said.

Ukrainian soldiers in the Kharkiv region, September 14, 2022.PAP / Alena Solomonova

– I recommend all member states, although I should not even recommend them, because we all have the same approach, that it is absolutely vital and necessary to support Ukraine with the military equipment it needs for its defense. And they proved they could do it if they were well equipped, she said.

Zelensky: missile defense is our priority

Zelenskiy explained that Ukraine needs in the first place anti-missile and air defense measures. – Missile defense is a priority for us today. I don’t know how to fix this problem quickly. We have started talks and we have positive results when it comes to talks with German partners on the delivery of NASAMS and IRIS-T systems. We are waiting for a few of them, but so far we have not received any – he informed.

The president emphasized that Ukraine was ready to cooperate in this regard with France, Italy, Germany and the United States.

Ursula von der Leyen and Volodymyr Zelensky in KievPAP / Viacheslav Ratynskyi

Von der Leyen on aid for Ukraine

In addition to funds for aid for schools, Ursula von der Leyen has declared another macro-financial aid for Ukraine in Kiev.

– We discussed budget support, the so-called macro-financial assistance. I’m very happy that European parliament today voted to give Ukraine a loan of five billion euros. We’re working on our next help. Five billion euros could be set aside in the first tranche in mid-October, she said.

Earlier, the President of Ukraine presented the President of the European Commission with the Order of Jarosław the Wise. Von der Leyen stated that it was a great honor for her. ‘I accept this award on behalf of all EU citizens as a symbol of our strong relationship,’ she wrote on Twitter.

Zelenskiy unveiled a plaque with the name of von der Leyen

After the press conference, Zelenski unveiled a plaque with the name of Ursula von der Leyen in Aleja Odwagi. In this way, the Ukrainian president singles out the politicians who actively support his country in the ongoing war with Russia.

The first plaque was unveiled in Aleja Odwagi in August. It has the president’s name on it Andrzej Duda. Last week, during the Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine Mateusz Morawieckia plaque with his name and the name of PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński was unveiled there.

Main photo source: PAP / Viacheslav Ratynskyi

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