President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on Friday arrived in war-ravaged Ukraine to participate in the 24th EU-Ukraine summit that is scheduled to be held on Friday. “Back in Kyiv for the EU-Ukraine Summit with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell," Michel wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on the occasion of the Russian invasion's one-year anniversary, is conducting a summit with the European Union. Zelenskyy said he wants to start talks on the accession of Ukraine to the EU "this year." The European Council granted Ukraine a candidacy status in June 2022 after Ukraine's embattled President submitted a formal application to join the bloc during Russia's war of aggression.
The 24th summit between the EU and Ukraine takes place today.— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) February 3, 2023
On the agenda:
📌Ukraine’s European path
📌The EU’s response to Russia’s war
📌Ukraine’s initiatives for a just peace and accountability
📌Reconstruction and reliefs
📌Global food security#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/qWyNQRJAvO
"There will be no let up in our resolve [of supporting Ukraine]. We will also support you every step of the way on your journey to the EU,” President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said on Twitter.
Back in Kyiv for the EU-#Ukraine Summit with @ZelenskyyUa @vonderleyen and @JosepBorrellF
There will be no let up in our resolve.
We will also support you every step of the way on your journey to the EU. pic.twitter.com/3fnmajrtAZ
We are working tirelessly to help restore 🇺🇦Ukraine's vital energy infrastructure.— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) February 3, 2023
And every kW of energy saved is precious to counter Russia's energy war.
The EU is providing 35 million energy-saving LED bulbs that Ukrainians can exchange at the post office.#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/JrSD88getm
Ahead of the official Kyiv-EU summit, air raid sirens were heard all across Ukraine as invading Russian soldiers launched rockets into the eastern towns and cities. In an official statement, the European Commission labelled the surprise visit as "a strong symbol of the Commission's support for Ukraine in the face of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified aggression." EU officials are expected to hold discussions with Kyiv on a range of issues, including peace proposals, Russia's war crimes, recovery, reconstruction of the war-damaged infrastructure, energy, and global food security. President Michel, during a speech in Kyiv, noted that EU is "fully committed to advance Ukraine’s EU process," adding that the EU must spare no effort in assisting Ukraine to counter the Russian threat.
EU officials called for anti-corruption measures from Ukraine and for building a credible track record of funds, free from corruption. EU's Von der Leyen tweeted that Ukraine was "taking notable steps forward to meet our recommendations, while at the same time fighting an invasion."
"We have never been closer," she said, noting that the EU was "working on extending tariff-free access to our market," said Von der Leyen, who is also on a visit.
Von der Leyen arrived in Kyiv on Thursday, along with other senior EU officials, including the EU's most senior diplomat, Josep Borrell for the summit. "I believe that Ukraine deserves to start negotiations on EU membership this year," Zelenskyy said Thursday after talks with von der Leyen. "Only together a strong Ukraine and a strong European Union can protect the life we value."