Von der Leyen to visit Kiev as EU prepares new Russia sanction

Mon, May 8, 2023 | By editor


EUROPEAN Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is to travel to Kiev on Tuesday where she is to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, her spokesman announced on Monday.

Von der Leyen’s fifth visit since Russia launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine in February 2022 comes at a symbolic date for Europe.

The European Union celebrates on May 9 the lasting peace between its members that followed the end of World War II in 1945, while Russia marks its victory over Nazi Germany with an annual military parade.

Against the backdrop of Russia’s war on Ukraine in its second year, the commission president is to “reaffirm the EU’s unwavering support towards the country,” the spokesman said in Brussels.

Ukraine was named an official candidate country for EU membership last year and is awaiting an assessment by the commission on whether its reform efforts were sufficient to start formal accession talks.

Brussels has provided military, financial and humanitarian support to Ukraine worth 67 billion euros (75 billion U.S. dollars) so far, with work being underway on a new set of economic sanctions on Russia.

The bloc is also planning to further restrict its exports, according to EU sources, in a pitch to tackle the circumvention of the existing sanctions on Russia by exporting goods via other countries.  (dpa/NAN)