European Union leaders are meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Friday for a historic summit, the first time such an event takes place in a war zone.
The gathering is expected to focus on a path to EU membership for Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia, with the EU promising a 10th round of measures.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell have travelled to the Ukrainian capital under high-security measures.
Follow our live blog for the latest developments.
On the agenda, at a glance:
- EU membership for Ukraine: Charles Michel has vowed to support Kyiv “every step of the way” but a fast-track path is highly unlikely
- 10th round of sanctions against Russia: von der Leyen has promised this by 24 February, the first anniversary of the war
- Measures could include a price cap on the maritime trade in Russian petroleum products
- The EU is examining ways to confiscate frozen Russian-owned assets that could fund Ukrainian reconstruction
- The EU has also pledged energy equipment and a childcare grant for Ukraine
- Air raid sirens blared across Kyiv ahead of the summit, reports Euronews correspondent Sasha Vakulina in the Ukrainian capital.
Von der Leyen highlights energy pledge
The European Commission president is expected to unveil more details of EU sanctions against Russia on Friday — as well as concrete aid for Ukraine.
“We will introduce with our G7 partners, an additional price cap on Russian petroleum products, and by the 24th of February — exactly one year since the invasion started — we aim to have the 10th package of sanctions in place,” she pledged upon arrival in Kyiv on Thursday.
On Friday she highlighted aid on energy in this tweet:
Why is the summit being held in Ukraine?
This from Euronews correspondent Sasha Vakulina in Kyiv, speaking ahead of Friday’s meeting:
“Ukrainian authorities insisted that the EU-Ukraine summit should take place here in Kyiv and not in Brussels. They wanted the delegation of senior EU officials to see how the country is operating, how they are introducing measures and requirements whilst at the same time defending itself for almost one year, something that Kyiv certainly believes deserves EU membership.”
EU readying 10th package of sanctions against Russia
The summit today was preceded by a meeting yesterday between EU Commissioners and the Ukrainian government.
At the end of day of meetings, the Commission chief told reporters that “by 24 February, exactly one year since the invasion started, we aim to have the tenth package of sanctions in place.”
A prospect Zelenskyy appeared to welcome, deploring that “the pace of sanctions in Europe has slowed down a bit, while the terrorist state is increasing the pace of adaptation to sanctions. It is worth catching up, and it is worth fixing it.”
Catch up on Thursday’s meeting here:
Von der Leyen promises 10th package of Russian sanctions in Kyiv
euronewsOne of the EU’s messages is likely to be bitter for Ukraine: there will be no fast-tracking for Ukraine’s bid to become a member. #EuropeNews
Here’s how the day is unfolding
- Welcome and official photo
- Plenary session
- Press conference
- Working lunch
No specific timing has been given for security reasons but the press conference is expected to take place at +/- 13:00 local time (12:00 CET).
The press conference with the three leaders will however not be streamed live, again for security reasons.
Hello and welcome to Euronews’ live blog on the summit taking place in Kyiv today with Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, European Council chief Charles Michel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Additional sources • Reuters, AFP