Saturday, April 1, 2023

EU chief: Ukrainians “belong in the European family”

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen And Romanian President Klaus Iohannis Meet At Cotroceni Palace, In Bucharest, Romania, On March 3.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis meet at Cotroceni Palace, in Bucharest, Romania, on March 3. (George Calin/Reuters)

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen reiterated the European Union’s support for Ukraine membership, saying “there is no doubt that these brave people who defend our values ​​with their lives belong in the European family.”

Von Der Leyen said the bloc can provide Ukrainian refugees with protection, residency, access to work and to housing, adding that it is “not only an act of compassion in times of war, this is also our duty as Europeans.”

At least one million refugees have fled Ukraine in the week since the invasion began and “crossed our borders,” she said.

In a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Von Der Leyen announced the creation of a “civil protection hub for Ukraine” based in Romania to assist with humanitarian needs.

She also addressed the long lines of people at the Polish border saying they “have issued guidelines for border management. This is to simplify formalities at the border and thus enable people to get a shelter more rapidly.”

Von der Leyen said “we are providing humanitarian support to deal with the consequences of this war” and “will deploy at least 500 million euros from the EU budget in humanitarian assistance and of course more will come. As we need to brace for devastating consequences of this atrocious war.”

On sanctions: She stated that the EU’s “aim is to cut off the Kremlin’s capacity to wage war on its neighbors and warned of “additional steps if the situation deteriorates on the ground.”

The EU is preparing in case of “retaliation,” by Russia, by working to diversify its energy supplies, she said. Von der Leyen also announced plans to connect Ukraine to the European electricity grid. “We are in this together and we will accompany Ukraine in this process with determination, with unity and with solidarity.”

“We will always remember the determination and bravery of the people of Ukraine. They are an inspiration to all of us,” she said before adding “Our focus is on ending this war.”


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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