EU leaders will express further support for Ukraine when they meet with Zelensky, Scholz said

EU leaders will express further support for Ukraine when they meet with Zelensky, Scholz said

The EU leaders went out of their way to meet Zelenskyi í support for Ukraine, Scholz said

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks to reporters before the start of an extraordinary EU summit in Brussels, February 9, 2023.

Brussels – Today's meeting of the leaders of the countries of the European Union with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be an opportunity to confirm the further support of the EU states to Ukraine, which has been resisting Russian aggression for almost a year. This was announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Brussels before the start of the extraordinary EU summit. Upon her arrival, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas appealed for the fastest possible delivery of additional weapons, which Kyiv needs due to the expected Russian offensive. According to the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, Ukraine will receive more weapons. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called for the rapid approval of new anti-Russian sanctions.

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EU leaders expressed support for Ukraine during meeting with Zelensky, Scholz said

EU leaders give support to Zelensky when they meet to Ukraine, said Scholz

EU leaders leave during the meeting with Zelensky, he gave support to Ukraine, Scholz said

EU leaders give support to Zelensky when they meet Ukraine, said Scholz

Zelenskyj headed to Brussels for the first time since the outbreak of the war and, according to EU officials, at the summit he will want to convince European leaders for further supplies of weapons and ammunition or to increase pressure on Russia.

Zelenskyi arrived in the Belgian capital in the morning together with French President Emmanuel Macron. On Wednesday evening, in Paris, he met not only him, but also the German chancellor. The first stop of the current European trip of the Ukrainian president was London.

However, his program in Brussels today is accompanied by conjecture and uncertainty, which is also caused by the effort to keep the details of the visit secret for security reasons. While his first steps are widely expected to lead to MEPs gathered in an extraordinary plenary session, some sources say he will first hold bilateral talks with EU leaders. According to published photos, he was also welcomed at the airport by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

“Once again we can send a signal of unity and solidarity and show that we are able to support Ukraine in its defense of independence and territorial integrity,” Scholz told reporters today. He added that Germany, which approved the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks in recent days, will continue to be at the forefront of this effort.

However, Poland and the Baltic countries in particular are pushing for EU states to speed up arms deliveries and help Ukraine repel the expected Russian offensive. “It is very important that we speed up military support to Ukraine,” said the Estonian Prime Minister. According to her, the EU should give a clear signal to its defense industry that there is a need to quickly produce more weapons. Kallas added that the union could proceed together similarly to the procurement of vaccines against covid-19, the production of which she also managed to speed up.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has not ruled out his country providing any military support to the country, which is currently seeking the delivery of fighter jets. However, the allies are still hesitant.

The Czech Republic will support further aid to Ukraine on its way to the EU

At the extraordinary EU summit, the Czechia will support Ukraine on its way to EU membership. The prime ministers of the member countries will discuss the conditions for Ukraine's entry into the internal market of the community. Before leaving Prague, Fiala also told journalists that in order to defend Ukraine and the whole of Europe against the huge superiority of Russian troops, it is absolutely necessary to continue the armed support of the country. the conflict that began with the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine almost a year ago. Zelenskyy, who has been communicating with the council through regular video conferences, will fly to Brussels from Paris, he visited London on Wednesday.

According to Fiala, Ukraine is trying to work on internal changes, is strengthening the fight against corruption, and amending legislation. According to him, its involvement in some European programs is the way the EU should go. During the negotiations, the Czechia will also insist on the establishment of a special tribunal for crimes committed in Ukraine, in terms of sanctions, it will support further steps against Russia and Belarus, which is helping to lead the conflict.

“I'm glad that the opinion of a number of countries is shifting, to what extent they are ready to go in support of Ukraine, this also applies to heavy equipment,” said Fiala when asked about further military support for Ukraine. According to him, it is absolutely necessary for the security of Europe for Ukraine to defend itself against the great Russian superiority. “And that will only work if the enormous bravery of the Ukrainian nation is complemented by our technology,” said the prime minister.

Zelensky's program in Brussels is still being finalized, according to Fiala, and he expects the Ukrainian president to participate in meetings of all prime ministers and bilateral negotiations in narrower groups of countries.

During the two-day summit, European leaders will also address the economic situation in Europe and migration. Fiala assumes that the prime ministers will only open negotiations on the possibilities of supporting the industry, and expects to conclude them only at the regular summit in March. At the same time, the Czechia insists on an open internal market without major barriers and does not want measures that would make equal conditions for everyone more difficult, which also applies to public support. In the field of migration, the Czech Republic will support the strengthening of agreements on the return of refugees, the strengthening of external borders and the fight against smugglers.

EU leaders will debate Ukraine or migration, Zelenskyj will visit among them

With a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this morning, the leaders of the European Union states will start an extraordinary summit, the topic of which is, among other things, further aid to the country, which has been facing Russian aggression for almost a year. In addition, presidents and prime ministers will debate options for limiting the growing number of migrants heading to Europe or supporting the EU economy at a time of massive state subsidies in the United States and China. Prime Minister Petr Fiala will represent the Czech Republic at the summit.

Zelenskyi will visit Brussels for the first time since the outbreak of the war and, according to EU officials, he will want to convince European leaders for further supplies of weapons and ammunition or to increase pressure on Russia. Leaders should agree to support Kyiv regardless of the length of the war. According to the proposed text of the conclusions of the summit, they will also support Zelensky's peace plan or the establishment of an international center for the investigation of crimes in Ukraine. He will also appreciate Ukraine's reforms on the way to the EU, but will not comment on the specific time horizon of the country's possible entry into the European bloc.

The other two topics of the summit divide the member countries significantly more than the attitudes towards the conflict in Ukraine. According to diplomats, no fundamental agreement can be expected on the issue of state subsidies for companies forming the so-called green economy or possible further joint borrowing by the EU. The plan of the European Commission (EC) envisages the temporary authorization of state aid and the establishment of a new “sovereignty fund”. However, the leaders are divided in their views on these matters and today will probably only set the course for further debates, which will probably last for many months.

Diplomats do not expect a fundamental shift even with regard to the topic of migration, which the Union is dealing with in connection with the rapidly growing number people heading from Africa and Asia to Europe. The summit will probably agree that the EU should return rejected asylum seekers more quickly and efficiently and use, for example, a potential tightening of visa policy to put pressure on non-EU countries. On the key issue of mutual solidarity in accepting migrants or processing asylum applications, which has been dividing the EU for many years, however, there will probably not be a substantial debate.