Both European leaders sent messages of encouragement to both the Ukrainian president and the Ukrainian people, hoping for a speedy recovery and restoration of the country after the Russian-initiated conflict. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen began her remarks to the Ukrainian leader by referring to him by both his presidential title and his first name, appealing to the more human side, so necessary to remember in the current circumstances:
“You are an inspiration for so many around the world. And we are with you in spirit and with concrete support!
Soon, the time will come for Ukraine’s reconstruction. It is actually starting already in the liberated areas around Kyiv and elsewhere. Ukrainians are coming back to their devastated towns and villages to remove the debris, rebuild houses and infrastructure and restart the economy. This is an enormous effort and we need to mobilise all our available resources to rebuild Ukraine. […].
LEurope’s strength is based on our citizens working tirelessly on improving daily lives and the future of our children in cities, towns, villages and neighbourhoods […]. Think of architects, companies, bankers and experts from the European Union and Ukraine, all working together. We will expand exponentially the number of twin cities and twin regions between our two peoples […].
The entire EU stands behind Ukraine, now and after you have prevailed and overcome this horrible war. We will help you to reconstruct your country and we will walk together with you on your European path.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, was also fraternal towards Zelensky and all his compatriots, in a message that stands out for its empathy and staunch defence of Ukraine’s freedom and dignity:
“Last week I was in Kyiv. I saw with my own eyes the atrocities and devastation in Borodyanka. I have no words to describe the outrage and compassion I felt. These are war crimes. They must be punished, and they will be punished.
I also witnessed the extraordinary courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people. The courage of your army and your leaders, your fighting spirit, your determination to defend your homeland, and the future of your children. Your brave resistance has inspired Europe and the free world. You are fighting for your freedom, but you are also defending our freedom and our common European values. […].
All of you present today, you are the grassroots leaders across Ukraine. You know best what your citizens need in your towns and regions. You will be the builders and organisers on the ground, the critical local link to rebuilding your new Ukraine. And local and regional leaders in the EU — like yourselves — are best placed to understand your needs and to offer practical, concrete, and operational expertise […].
Your role as local and regional leaders will be pivotal in building the future of Ukraine. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you. We both want the same things — peace, prosperity, and a confident future for our children.
Long live Europe!”.