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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Charles Michel: “The European Union stands alongside the Ukrainians with determination and unity”

On the occasion of an exceptional European summit in Kyiv, Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, worries about possible reinforced Russian strikes as the anniversary date of February 24 approaches. He believes that Ukraine is already in the European family and that the Europeans have unanimously supported strong sanctions against Russia, and this will undoubtedly be the case for the 10th round to come.

For the President of the European Council, “this special summit in Kyiv is a signal that we are close to the Ukrainians with determination and unity”. On Ukraine’s accession to the EU, Charles Michel underlines that Ukraine has made a lot of efforts to implement reforms on the rule of law, the fight against corruption, and the independence of justice.

Regarding military aid, if the USA is the first contributor, the European leaders are up to the task in terms of financial, humanitarian, and political support, according to the President of the Council: “the EU acts economically and for the reception refugees”. He also insists on international mobilization to isolate Russia, “whose violation of international law threatens the rest of the world”.

Charles Michel also insists on the recent deliveries of tanks from the last EU countries, including the Leopard tanks. He recalls that from the start of the war, the Union mobilized 12 billion euros thanks to an exceptional procedure. This war mobilized European defense, for the first time, with arms deliveries and industrial cooperation between States.

As for Russia, “it got the opposite of what it wanted, it did not succeed in dividing the Europeans, nor the Europeans and the Americans, and it has to face NATO candidacies from Finland and Sweden“. With the anniversary of the first year of the war, Charles Michel fears a Russian offensive, “revenge”, hence the arms deliveries and the presence of European leaders alongside the Ukrainians.

“The EU is growing in the face of crises”

On the consequences of the war, the energy crisis, and poverty in Europe, Charles Michel was “surprised by the support of the populations for Ukraine”. The Council will make proposals to defend purchasing power, in particular in the electricity market. “The EU is growing in the face of crises”, he recalls.

Regarding the 10 “sanction package” claimed against Russia, Charles Michel underlines that “despite the debates, the first 9 sets of sanctions were voted unanimously”.

Finally, “the summit in Kyiv is also intended to show the world that we support the defense of international law, explains the President of the Council. He concludes with a message to the Ukrainians: “hold on, we are with you, your destiny is the EU, you suffer to defend the values ​​we believe in.”

The program prepared by Luke Brown, Isabelle Romero, Sophie Samaille and Perrine Desplats

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