The head of the European Union (EU) said on Thursday that war-torn Ukraine would have European support “as long as it is necessary”.
KIEV (AFP) – War-torn Ukraine will get European support “as long as it needs”, Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Union (EU), said Thursday in Kyiv. From Russia.
Von der Leyen’s visit coincided with meetings in former Soviet Uzbekistan between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his increasingly close ally Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Thursday’s visit to Ukraine was his third since Russia invaded in February, but this time was different.
At a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, she told reporters, “The sacrifices Ukrainians are making will never be matched.
“But what we can say is that your European friends will be by your side as long as you need them,” she said.
Emphasizing the victims of the conflict, Zelensky said in his evening speech that mass graves were discovered after the town was recaptured.
“I want the world to know what the Russian occupation caused,” he said, without giving details about the number of bodies found or the cause of death.
Local police officer Sergei Botvinov told Sky News that a burial site with about 440 graves had been discovered in Izyum.
Von der Leyen has previously said he wants Putin to face the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Ukraine.
“It is important to me that Putin lost this war and that his actions must be confronted.”
– Sanctions continue –
Upon arriving in Ukraine, she said talks with Ukrainian leaders would “bring our economy and people closer together.”
Kyiv, along with former Soviet-era Moldova, which borders Ukraine, won EU candidacy status in June and, like its neighbors, has Russian troops stationed in its eastern breakaway territories.
The historic candidacy vote angered Moscow, which has sought to maintain political and military influence in both countries since the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago.
EU countries have staunchly backed Ukraine since Moscow invaded in February and dealt an economic blow to Russia.
Many members of the bloc have supplied Kyiv with advanced weapons, helping Ukrainian forces to retake the territory in recent weeks.
Germany’s defense minister said on Thursday that Berlin would provide armored vehicles and rocket-launching systems but not the tanks that Ukraine wanted, promising more weapons.
Shortly before her visit, von der Leyen said the wave of EU sanctions against Russia would remain and Europeans must maintain their resolve on Moscow.
“I want to be clear: the sanctions will continue,” he told the European Parliament.
The Kremlin claims that Russia weathered the economic penalty and Moscow responded by reducing or completely halting the flow of gas to European countries.
With winter fast approaching, the EU is being forced to source alternatives, agree plans to cut consumption, and deploy financial support in the face of skyrocketing prices.
～President Putin praises the attitude of President Xi～
Ukraine’s energy installations, including Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhia, have been hit by the Russian strike.
The United Nations Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday asked Russia to withdraw its troops from Zaporizhia, according to diplomats.
Ukrainian forces are making slow but steady advances in the southern Kherson region near the Black Sea.
Ukraine’s president said on Thursday that heavy fighting continued around its southern front, adding that the military situation was “still very difficult”.
Local authorities in the region around Zelensky’s hometown of Krivy Rych on Thursday reported another Russian strike after attacks damaged a dam and flooded dozens of homes.
In the eastern Donetsk region, which has been partly controlled by Russia-backed separatists since 2014, fresh artillery fire has killed two civilians and injured another 13.
At a meeting in Uzbekistan, Putin lashed out at attempts to create a “unipolar world” and praised China’s stance on the conflict.
Putin told Xi that he “highly appreciates the balanced position of the Chinese friend in connection with the Ukraine crisis.”
Although Beijing has not explicitly endorsed the invasion of Moscow, it has steadily established economic and strategic ties with Russia during the six months of the war.
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