- The decision came ahead of the 24th EU-Ukraine summit which will take place on Friday in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Ursula von der Leyen
Diplomat Times (Kyiv) – The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, travelled to Kyiv today, accompanied by 15 Commissioners, for the first ever meeting between the College and the Ukrainian Government.
The meeting takes place back to back with the EU-Ukraine summit, the first since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the granting of candidate status.
President von der Leyen said: “With the visit of the College to Kyiv, the EU is sending today a very clear message to Ukraine and beyond about our collective strength and resolve in the face of Russia’s brutal aggression.
We will continue supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes. And we will continue to impose a heavy price on Russia until it ceases its aggression. Ukraine can count on Europe to help rebuild a more resilient country, that progresses on its path to join the EU.”
On the eve of the EU-Ukraine Summit, the College to Government meeting in Kyiv co-chaired by President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Shmyhal, took stock of the EU’s ongoing support to Ukraine in different areas, including financial, humanitarian, energy, budget support, diplomatic outreach, as well as of the reform efforts by Ukraine to advance on its EU path, and outlined further steps to enhance sectorial cooperation in a number of areas. President von der Leyen also met President Zelensky to discuss key issues on the EU-Ukraine agenda.
Further relief support and preparing for reconstruction
Following the disbursement on 17 January of the first instalment of €3 billion of the up to €18 billion Macro-financial Assistance+ (MFA+) package for Ukraine in 2023, the Commission is announcing today a new support package worth €450 million, including €145 million in humanitarian assistance and €305 million in bilateral cooperation to support fast recovery of infrastructure, increase Ukraine’s resilience and support the reform process.
The EU has been providing support and welcoming people fleeing the Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine since the early days of the invasion. On 4 March 2022, the EU has triggered for the first time the Temporary Protection Directive, aiming to ensure that all those fleeing the war to the EU have their right to reside, access the housing, health care, education and jobs is guaranteed. To date, the EU has welcomed around 4 million people from Ukraine.
The Commission has also established a Solidarity Platform and put forward the 10-Point Plan on Ukraine to coordinate efforts between Member States and EU agencies and to provide targeted support to welcome refugees fleeing Russian invasion. In October last year, the Commission has also launched the EU Talent Pool pilot initiative to help people fleeing the invasion to find a job in the EU.
The EU has also decided to suspend the cooperation programmes with Russia and Belarus
The EU has also decided to suspend the cooperation programmes with Russia and Belarus and transfer €26.2 million initially envisaged for projects with these two countries to strengthen cooperation of Member States with Ukraine and Moldova. The EU also introduced changes to the legal framework of 15 cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes disrupted by the Russian invasion, to ensure that projects could continue to be implemented by Member States, including for refugee support.
Since the start of the war, the overall Team Europe assistance pledged to Ukraine by the European Union, EU Member States, and European financial institutions amounts to up around €50 billion. This includes:
Over €30 billion in financial, budget support, emergency and humanitarian assistance from the EU budget, including up to €25.2 billion in Macro-Financial Assistance for 2022 and 2023.
A total of €7.8 billion in bilateral financial and humanitarian assistance mobilised by the EU, together with the Member States;
Over 82,000 tonnes of in-kind assistance with an estimated value of over €500 million delivered to Ukraine from EU Member States and partners via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism;
Military assistance of €12 billion, of which €3.6 billion is being made available under the European Peace Facility.