EU Commission chief visits Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s candidacy bid


ANKARA

As heavy fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen reached Kyiv on Saturday for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

The leaders “will take stock of the joint work needed for reconstruction and of the progress made by Ukraine on its European path,” she said on Twitter.

Von der Leyen said the commission will reach a decision on Ukraine’s EU candidate status by the end of next week.

She said the “discussions today will enable us to finalize our assessment,” while lauding “the efforts and determination of Ukraine in this process.”

Terming the war “an enormous stress test,” the top EU official reiterated the bloc’s support for efforts to “reform and modernize” Ukraine.

“Europe is here to support you. We want to channel investments and deliver reforms: to improve the lives of Ukrainians, make Ukraine more attractive for investors, and support Ukraine in pursuing its European path,” she added.

The EU has already allocated some €2 billion ($2.15 billion) in military aid to Ukraine and mobilized more than €4 billion in macro-financial assistance, humanitarian aid and support to EU countries hosting refugees from Ukraine since the war began on Feb. 24.



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