Von der Leyen and De Croo travel to Ukraine on two-year anniversary of Russian invasion

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will visit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Saturday as part of the second anniversary of the Russian invasion. The programme includes a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In addition to Von der Leyen and De Croo, Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau will also be present. The group will leave by train at the Polish border on Friday evening and arrive in the Ukrainian capital on Saturday morning. After a meeting with Zelensky, they will, among other things, lay a floral wreath at a monument to soldiers who died in the war and attend a commemoration ceremony.

Western support

Saturday marks two years since Russia invaded Ukraine. With De Croo representing the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, he hopes to assure Zelensky and the Ukrainian people of continued Western support on this occasion.

Ukrainians have been facing setbacks in terms of Western aid: A billion-dollar package has currently been blocked in the United States, and in Europe, the member states are having difficulty bringing the production of ammunition and weapons up to the level of Ukrainian needs. Moreover, in recent months, support has been heavily focused towards the Gaza Strip.

De Croo said on Friday after a meeting with Polish prime minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw that Ukraine "will require continued support". "The situation on the battlefield is not good, but that does not mean we give up," he said. "We hear the plea for more weapons and artillery. It is essential that we maintain our support for Ukraine."

The EU has provided more than 88 billion euros in aid to Ukraine since the start of the war, including almost 30 billion euros in military assistance. In October, the Belgian government announced the creation of a 1.7 billion euro fund intended for the purchase of military equipment, humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of the country.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen ​

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