European Council President arrives in Kyiv for Ukraine-EU summit
European Council President Charles Michel has arrived in Kyiv for the historic Ukraine-EU summit set to take place later on Feb. 3. "There will be no let up in our resolve. We will also support you every step of the way on your journey to the EU," Michel wrote on Twitter.
The Ukraine-EU summit is an annual event as part of Article 5 of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
According to Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, at the Feb. 3 summit, EU and Ukrainian officials will discuss the country's progress in meeting seven requirements for joining the union and the following opening of accession negotiations.
The meeting will also focus on new sanctions against Russia, implementing the "peace formula" proposed by Ukraine, holding Russia accountable for its war crimes, and the country's post-war reconstruction.
"We are preparing to present the implementation results of all seven recommendations of the European Commission and expect a positive assessment of our efforts by the EU," said Kuleba. "We expect significant progress in approaching the EU internal market, cooperation in the energy sector..."
On Jan. 31, Euractive reported, citing a draft summit communique, that the European Union's top officials wouldn't commit to Ukraine's quick entry into the union at the summit.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Jan. 30 that he expects Ukraine to achieve the "pre-entry stage of negotiations" to join the European Union this year. He said he hopes Ukraine can make a "significant leap forward" at the upcoming meeting.
European Commission Head Ursula von der Leyen, with 15 more Commission members and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell came to Kyiv on Feb. 2. Upon arrival in the morning, the delegation of more than a dozen members from the EU's executive branch held a meeting with the Ukrainian government.
On that day, the EU council announced that it would provide Ukraine with another 500 million euros ($542 million) for the seventh tranche of military aid, along with an additional 45 million euros ($49 million) for the training of Ukrainian troops.
Borrell said that the bloc would also double the number of Ukrainian soldiers to be trained this year to 30,000 and provide 25 million euros ($27.5 million) to help Ukraine demine liberated areas.
Ukraine applied for EU membership in February 2022, a few days after Russia launched its full-scale invasion. The European Union granted Ukraine candidate status on June 23.