European leaders meet in Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s path towards joining the EU : NPR
SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images
KYIV, Ukraine — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel traveled to Kiev for an annual EU-Ukraine summit.
The leaders of Ukraine and the European Union have been meeting regularly for these summits since the 90s, but this is the first time that a summit is being held with Ukraine as official candidate to join the EU.
Bilateral meetings usually alternate between Ukrainian and European cities, but the meeting being held in Kyiv this year, amid the sound of air raid sirens, is a reminder that the country is still very much at war. .
“Our presence in Kiev today gives a very clear signal. The entire European Union is in this with Ukraine for the long term, and we will stand up for Ukraine as we stand for fundamental rights and respect for international law,” Von der Leyen said.
Ukraine is expected to show Europeans how much progress it has made on a seven-point checklist of anti-corruption and judicial reforms before it can join the EU. The last two weeks in Ukrainian politics have been characterized by several high-profile investigations and dismissals.
Meanwhile, the EU is expected to offer hundreds of millions of euros in military and economic aid to Ukraine, an increase in free trade, as well as proposing the tenth package of sanctions for Russia.
“It is in our common European interest to prevent Russia from evading sanctions and preventing further aggression,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
This item first appeared on NPR news