Von der Leyen in Kiev: “Here EU values ​​are defended”. Zelensky: “We need a new victory”

“It’s nice to be back in Kiev. Where the values ​​we hold dear are defended every day.” These are the words of Ursula von der Leyen who has just arrived in Kiev. “For me it is such a suitable place to celebrate Europe Day – added the president of the European Commission – I welcome the decision of President Volodymyr Zelensky to celebrate Europe Day on 9 May here in Ukraine as well”. reads in the tweet of the leader of the European executive. (WAR IN UKRAINE – THE LIVEBLOG)

Pressure on Russia

“We are continuing to increase the pressure on Russia. It is one of the points I will brief President Zelensky on. The focus is now on rigorously implementing sanctions and taking measures against circumvention,” added Ursula von der Leyen upon his arrival in Kiev. “We are determined to close the existing loopholes. Nobody doubts it”, continued von der Leyen, underlining: “My presence in Kiev on 9 May is symbolic, but it is also the sign of a crucial and very concrete fact: the EU works side by side with Ukraine on many issues”.

The focus of the Zelensky-Von der leyen meeting

The process of approaching the EU, the grain export dossier, the great chapter of post-war reconstruction and the prosecution of Russian crimes. These will be some of the main themes of the meetings that the president of the EU Commission will have in Kiev with the heads of Ukrainian institutions, starting with the president Volodymyr Zelensky. Among the dossiers on the table will be that of the so-called ‘accountability’ of the Russians for the crimes committed in Ukraine. An issue, the latter, which includes two major themes: post-war reconstruction, with the legal attempt by Brussels to confiscate frozen Russian assets, and the establishment of a hybrid or international tribunal on Russian crimes. But the chapter on Kiev’s accession to the EU will also be discussed with the Ukrainian president. In this sense, the Ukrainian government’s commitment to the reforms – starting with the anti-corruption ones – requested by Brussels will be substantially verified by the European executive. The hypothesis is that October is the crucial month for the 27 to decide whether or not to open accession negotiations with Kiev. It is not a foregone decision also because more than one EU member country looks with a certain skepticism on Kiev’s implementation of the reforms requested against corruption. The issue of financial aid will probably be on the table at the meeting between von der Leyen and Zelensky. And it is far from excluded that the two will also address the knot of Ukrainian wheat exports, after the stop unilaterally decreed by various Eastern European countries on the import of agricultural products from Kiev. A stop that has greatly irritated the Ukrainian government.