During his visit to Ukraine on 20 April, European Council President Charles Michel said that the European Commission would publish its opinion on Ukraine’s accession by the end of June and that in the meantime the EU would continue to support the country – financially, militarily and with sanctions against Russia.
Charles Michel travelled to Borodyanka to witness the aftermath of war crimes and met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, expressing his admiration for the Ukrainian president’s personal leadership.
Summing up what he saw in Borodyanka, Michel described it as ‘atrocities’: “There are no words to explain what I feel, not as President of the European Council, but as a father, as a human being. These are war crimes. They must be punished. It will be punished. They must pay for what they have done there, and in many other cities and other locations in Ukraine.”
Michel said the EU was determined to do everything it can to support Ukraine, because “we want victory for Ukraine. And that is why we will use all the possible tools in our hands.”
Michel announced that, on 5 May, an international donors’ conference supported by the European Commission will launch the work of the trust fund in solidarity with Ukraine. He added that the EU was working closely with international organisations like the IMF, the World Bank and others to make sure the EU could mobilise funds and investments, so Ukraine could pay its social expenditures and rebuild the country.
Michel also said that he discussed with Zelenskyy Ukraine’s military needs, and that the EU is trying to convince member states to add bilateral support to the €1.5 billion of military equipment provided by the EU.
Regarding political support, Michel said the European Commission would publish its opinion on Ukraine’s accession before the end of June. “Usually, it takes eight months for the Commission to publish an opinion,” noticed Michel. “Then it will be my responsibility to assess when I can put this point on the agenda of the European Council and the Council, to make sure that we have the political discussion to make progress on this.”
Finally, Michel and Zelenskyy discussed further sanctions to maintain maximum pressure on the Kremlin. “We went into more detail and identified some additional elements for us to put proposals on the table of the Council,” said Michel.
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