Von der Leyen back in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President
June 11, 2022

Von der Leyen back in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen travelled to Kyiv on Saturday, meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“Good to be back in Kyiv,” she tweeted. “I will take stock of the joint work needed for reconstruction and of the progress made by Ukraine on its European path.”

Speaking at a press point with the Ukrainian President, she said the EU and Ukraine were working together on a reconstruction platform to channel contributions, adding there was “huge interest from all over the world – NGOs, businesses, international institutions – to help Ukraine rise from the ashes.”

Ursula von der Leyen also said it was very important to combine reconstruction, reform and transparency, and that the process should be fully owned by Ukraine. At the same time, she praised the resilience of the Ukrainian administration, which is fully capable of functioning for the country, under incredible circumstances, and drew attention to the country’s high level of digitalisation, which is of help in times of war.

She added that the European Commission was currently preparing its recommendation for the EU member states – the so-called opinion – on Ukraine’s EU accession application. “We have been working day and night on this assessment. The discussions today will enable us to finalise our assessment by the end of next week,” she said, adding: “The path is known. It is a merit-based path forward. It is a path where I highly appreciate the enormous efforts and the determination of Ukraine in this process.”

On the same day, the Head of the European Commission visited a hospital in Kyiv where Ukrainian soldiers are being treated. “In spite of the injuries, their spirit is unbroken. Their determination, intact,” wrote von der Leyen on Twitter.

It is the European Commission President’s second visit to Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion. On 8 April, Ursula von der Leyen travelled to Kyiv, launching Ukraine’s EU application process by handing the Ukrainian President the questionnaire that would form the starting point for the EU to decide on Ukraine’s membership.

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