Von der Leyen promises that the EU will support Ukraine “as long as it takes” | War in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who traveled to Kyiv on Thursday, promised that the EU would support Ukraine “as long” as it takes in the face of Russia and called for Vladimir Putin to be brought to justice for war crimes committed since the start of the invasion.
In the evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured that a mass grave had been discovered in Izium, a city recaptured from the Russians a few days ago as part of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region (east).
We want the world to know what the Russian occupation has done, he said in his daily video address, without giving details of the number of people buried or the causes of their deaths.
Ms. von der Leyen's trip took place alongside a meeting between the Russian President and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for a regional summit of the ;Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), touted as an alternative to Western alliances.
While he praised Mr. Xi's balanced position on Ukraine on this occasion, Vladimir Putin also said he understood (his) questions and (his) concerns on this subject .
It's no surprise that the PRC (People's Republic of China) apparently has such concerns. It is somewhat curious that President Putin is the one to admit it so openly, the US State Department spokesman commented shortly afterwards.
Beijing has neither publicly supported nor criticized the Russian invasion, while repeatedly expressing support for Moscow in the face of Western sanctions.
Mr. Putin also denounced in Samarkand Western attempts to create a unipolar world, while Mr. Xi stressed that his country was ready to assume its role as a great power with Russia, while insisting on the goal of stability. in the face of chaos.
In Ukraine, Ms von der Leyen meanwhile spoke to Ukrainian Head of State Volodymyr Zelensky, saying she was impressed by the bravery of Ukrainian forces on the front line.
You'll have your European friends by your side for as long as it takes. We are friends forever, she launched alongside Mr. Zelensky.
In an interview with the daily Bild television channel, Ms. von der Leyen also pleaded for the Russian president to appear before international justice.
Putin must lose this war and be held accountable, this is important to me, said Ursula von der Leyen.
Ukraine's priority is to be part of the common market of the European Union, where goods, services and capital can circulate freely between countries, for his part underlined the Ukrainian president, whose country wishes in particular increase its electricity deliveries to the EU.
This was Mrs von der Leyen's third visit to Ukraine but her first since the country became a candidate for entry into the ;EU.
The Europeans had endorsed in June the candidacy of Ukraine, which also aims to join NATO. This prospect is perceived as an existential threat by Moscow, which launched on this pretext, among others, its invasion on February 24.
The West reacted to a series of sanctions against Russia while supplying arms to kyiv, a crucial support which enabled it to take them back weeks thousands of square kilometers of territory to Russian forces.
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Germany announced in this regard on Thursday that armored vehicles would be delivered to it very soon, but not for the moment the battle tanks claimed, while the United States opted for a new salvo of sanctions targeting around twenty Russian officials.
Arming Ukraine can be acceptable if the conditions of morality are met, said Pope Francis.
The spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova, at the same time warned Washington against sending long-range missiles to Ukraine, which would constitute the crossing of a red line and would force Moscow to react.
Ukraine is also asking for financial support, as its economy has collapsed and currently needs five billion dollars a month to cover its budget deficit.
A destroyed bridge in Verbivka, in an area taken over by the Ukrainians
On the eve of the displacement of Mrs von der Leyen, Volodymyr Zelensky had gone to the strategic city of Izium, from where he promised the Ukrainians victory.
He stressed that almost the entire Kharkiv region was now liberated, thanks to a counter-offensive that began in early September.
But Thursday, in the whole of Ukraine, more than 20 localities suffered Russian strikes, underlined the Ukrainian army.
In Bakhmut, in the eastern region of Donetsk, AFP journalists saw a thick plume of smoke on Thursday morning after the strike hit an apartment building. ;housing at night. Firefighters were trying to find bodies in the middle of a pile of debris, while the streets were almost deserted, artillery fire being heard.