Symbolism and European support in the visit of the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, to Brussels after having visited London and Paris. Zelenski has been the center of attention of the European summit that is celebrated in the community capital. A attention that he has wanted to transform into concrete promises that imply the shipment of more weapons to the country.
“I just don’t have the right to go back without results,” the Ukrainian president told reporters when asked by Euronews’ Efi Koutsokosta if he expected to leave Brussels with concrete promises of more support and military equipment, including fighter jets.
“That depends on the partners. And for me, personally, it’s very important that all the talks we have can lead to the result – should lead to the result – and maybe that’s a little flippant, but it’s not cynical, it’s a pragmatic point of view,” Zelensky pointed out.
“There are positive signals in relation to weapons. We have positive signals that we listen to each other and I really want these signals to turn into concrete sounds,” he added. He has also assured that he is “very grateful for the air defense systems”, noting that they not only protect Ukraine, but all of Europe.
Ursula von der Leyen praised the EU’s response to the war, noting that together €67 billion in aid has been provided to Ukraine and refugees. “We must do more”, lamented the president of the European Commission. Her team will present “in the coming days” a tenth package of sanctions aimed at political and military leaders, as well as “Putin’s propagandists.”
“Their lies are poisoning the public space in Russia and abroad,” he said. The sanctions will also include “additional export bans worth more than 10 billion euros” to disrupt Russia’s ability to wage war and “shake the foundations of its economy.”
“A very important meeting” with Sunak
Asked if the meeting in London was more fruitful than his visit to Paris and Brussels, in which he managed to agree on a pilot training program, Zelenski pointed out that his dinner with the two EU leaders, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz, Wednesday night was a “very powerful meeting, a very important meeting.” He has also indicated that some of the things that were discussed or would have been discussed, they cannot make public, so as not to give Russia any information about the country’s military capabilities.
2023: key year for the accession of Urcania?
Questioned during the press conference about his country’s aspiration to the EU, Zelensky replied in English that “we can start to open the dialogue about our future in the EU”, before returning the question to Michel and von der Leyen. “We need unity in this case, so of course we need this year,” he said, adding that EU membership is motivating citizens and the armed forces to resist and fight.
“When I say this year, Charles, I mean this year, 02-02-23,” he said, causing laughter in the room.
The Commission is expected to make its assessment of Ukraine’s progress in its accession process public later this year, with an oral presentation in the spring and a more formal report in the autumn.
EU officials have declared themselves “impressed” by the results already achieved by Ukraine. The country obtained candidate status in June last year and was tasked with making progress on seven requirements. Since then, the Government has launched a series of reforms to strengthen the judiciary and the fight against corruption.
Von der Leyen added during the press conference that the Commission is “working very closely with the Ukrainian government on the progress” and said that “it is impressive to see how highly professional” they are.
“There is no rigid timetable, it is a merit-based process,” he said, stressing that the speed at which they reach the milestones set by the Commission will dictate the speed of their accession process.
Source: Euronews Español