President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who is on a visit to Ukraine.
The President greeted the President of the European Commission in Ukraine, noting that this is her second visit in two months during a full-scale war, which testifies to the significant contribution of Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen to the support for Ukraine and the common struggle for freedom in Europe.
“It is definitely a crucial time. And not only for Ukraine, but also for the European Union. It is now being determined what the future of a united Europe will be and whether this future will be at all. Russia wants to destroy European unity, it wants to leave Europe divided and weak. The whole of Europe is a target for Russia, and Ukraine is only the first stage in this aggression, in these plans. That is why the European Union’s positive response to Ukraine’s application for membership can be a positive response to the question of whether the European project has a future at all,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with media representatives after talks with the European Commission President in Kyiv.
The Head of State stressed that the Ukrainian people have already made an extremely great contribution to the protection of common freedom and European values and proved that state and public institutions in Ukraine remain stable and Ukrainians are fully integrated into the European space.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also noted that the Ukrainian authorities have provided comprehensive answers to the questionnaire in a very short time and are waiting for the European Commission’s conclusion next week on Ukraine’s compliance with the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership.
“The vast majority of Europeans consider Ukraine part of the European family. And rightly so. We are very much looking forward to the recognition of such a reality at the political level on June 23-24, when the historic meeting of the European Council is to take place. Meeting, the logical decision of which should be to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country. We really believe in that,” he said.
The President of Ukraine noted that the candidate status is only the beginning of the movement towards EU membership, and Ukraine will still have to cover the path from candidate to full membership.
“But everyone has already seen that the Ukrainian people value freedom so much and are so much ready to fight for their future that they will do everything necessary for Ukraine’s European integration. The European project certainly cannot be complete without us, without Ukraine, and this is absolutely obvious right now, when the Ukrainian people are bravely defending the future for themselves and all the nations of Europe,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
For her part, Ursula von der Leyen noted that by the end of next week the European Commission should complete discussions on granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for accession to the European Union.
“On this path, we very much appreciate the efforts that Ukraine is making and the determination with which your country is moving. People have proven their motivation and determination. Therefore, I am convinced that together we will be able to overcome this terrible war. Together we will rebuild this beautiful country, modernize Ukraine,” said the President of the European Commission.
The President also thanked Ursula von der Leyen for the European Commission’s proposal of a new program of assistance to Ukraine in the amount of 9 billion euros and efforts to prepare for the reconstruction of our country after the war.
“We are coordinating our steps in this direction to synchronize our internal Plan for the reconstruction of Ukraine and the European Platform for the reconstruction of our state. I believe that together with the European Commission and European countries we will be able to create all conditions for the most ambitious economic project of our time, namely – full and rapid recovery of Ukraine after this tragedy, after this war,” said the President.
Ursula von der Leyen noted that the European Commission is working on the Platform for Reconstruction of Ukraine and is very enthusiastic about this issue.
“EU member states, other partners of Ukraine, international financial institutions, civil society, people, business are very interested in supporting the reconstruction of Ukraine,” said Ursula von der Leyen.
According to her, this platform will allow synchronizing joint work on the restoration of Ukraine.
“We want to direct investments, ensure the implementation of reforms, so that it improves the lives of Ukrainians, so that we can rebuild Ukraine, make it attractive for investment, so that Ukraine creates attractive conditions for doing business and can move towards the European Union,” she said.
The President of Ukraine said that the decision to abolish tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the European Union has already entered into force. He also thanked for organizing “green corridors” to promote exports from Ukraine.
“We have already started negotiations in the field of transport to conclude an agreement on the liberalization of road freight transport. In the field of energy, the synchronization of our energy network with the European one has reached a new level – from now on, significant exports of our electricity to the countries of the European Union are possible. All this and many other lines of our cooperation strengthen both Ukraine and our neighbors in the EU, and, I believe, strengthen the entire European Union,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
Ursula von der Leyen stressed that Ukraine has implemented important reforms in the areas of economy and the rule of law. According to her, our country must continue this path.