Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, met with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, in Kyiv for the 24th summit between the European Union and Ukraine.
The EU will be with you and your people tomorrow and for as long as it takes. We will be right by your side to rebuild a modern, prosperous Ukraine firmly anchored on our common European path. – European Council President Charles Michel
This was the first EU-Ukraine summit since the start of the Russian aggression, and also since the European Council granted Ukraine the status of candidate country.
The leaders discussed:
- Ukraine’s European path and the accession process
- the EU’s response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine
- Ukraine’s initiatives for just peace and accountability
- cooperation on issues of reconstruction and relief and in the areas of energy and connectivity
- global food security
The leaders issued a joint statement at the end of the summit.
Ukraine applied for EU membership in February 2022 and was granted EU candidate status in June 2022.
We reiterated that the future of Ukraine and its citizens lies within the European Union.
The EU acknowledged the considerable efforts that Ukraine has made in recent months to meet the objectives required for its EU candidate status.
The EU will decide on further steps once Ukraine fulfils the conditions outlined in the European Commission’s opinion on its EU membership application.
The Commission will report on Ukraine’s fulfilment of the conditions as part of its regular enlargement package in 2023. Without prejudice to this comprehensive regular reporting, an update by the Commission is expected in spring 2023.
The response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine
Thanks to its unity, the EU has provided unwavering support to Ukraine, and will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.
Leaders supported the development of an International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in Ukraine (ICPA) in The Hague.
War crimes and the other most serious crimes committed during Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine are a gross violation of international law.
The objective is to coordinate the investigation of the crime of aggression against Ukraine, preserve and store evidence for future trials.
The EU has adopted an unprecedented set of restrictive measures against Russia, with visible effects on its regime and its economy.
At the summit, the EU reiterated its call for all countries to align with EU restrictive measures.
The EU reiterated its readiness to support Ukraine’s initiative for just peace, based on respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
We expressed our support of the peace formula of President Zelenskyy and our commitment to actively work with Ukraine on the 10-point peace plan.
EU military support includes:
- more than €3.6 billion under the European Peace Facility
- the launch of the EU Military Assistance Mission to train an initial 30 000 soldiers in 2023
Together with the military support provided by EU member states, the overall EU military support to Ukraine is estimated at close to €12 billion.
Overall assistance to Ukraine pledged at both EU and member state level so far amounts to nearly €50 billion.
On 4 March 2022, the EU activated the temporary protection directive, an EU emergency mechanism that allows displaced persons to enjoy harmonised rights across the EU. 4 million Ukrainians are benefitting from this mechanism.
Reconstruction and relief
Russia’s ongoing campaign of systematic missile and drone strikes against Ukrainian civilians, civilian targets, energy and telecommunications infrastructure and other utilities, inflicts even more suffering on the Ukrainian people.
Leaders discussed the continued provision of humanitarian and civil protection assistance to Ukraine, including:
- in-kind assistance
- assistance in the restoration of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, such as the rehabilitation of schools for Ukrainian children, energy generators and LED lightbulbs
The EU recalled its commitment to providing, together with partners, support to Ukraine’s fast recovery and reconstruction.
In this context, the EU announced a new package of up to €25 million to support the Humanitarian Mine Action.
The EU supports Ukraine within international fora, calling for steadfast solidarity with Ukraine and the alignment of all countries with EU restrictive measures.
Global food security
Russia’s attacks on crops and transport infrastructure have hampered Ukraine’s ability to export its agri-food production, which has further aggravated a global food crisis.
We recalled that Russia, by weaponising food in its war of aggression against Ukraine, has triggered world-wide disruptions of agricultural production, supply chains and trade that have driven food and fertiliser prices to unprecedented levels.
The EU solidarity lanes allowed the export of more than 23 million tonnes of agricultural products from Ukraine between May and December 2022.
Food is getting to countries in need in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. – Feature story
European Commission visit
On Thursday 2 February, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, accompanied by 15 Commissioners, met in Kyiv with the Ukrainian government to deliver a clear message of solidarity with Ukraine and its people.
Ahead of the summit, the EU and Ukraine also signed a memorandum of understanding on a strategic partnership on renewable gases.
Source: Press release – European Council