EC President Von der Leyen in Kyiv on February 24 anniversary of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Kyiv to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s February 24 2022 invasion of Ukraine, she said in a message on X (

Von der Leyen said that she was also there to celebrate the extraordinary resistance of the Ukrainian people.

“More than ever, we stand firmly by Ukraine. Financially, economically, militarily, morally. Until the country is finally free,” she said.

Von Leyen travelled to the Ukrainian capital by train along with three prime ministers: Alexander De Croo of Belgium, Giorgia Meloni of Italy and Justin Trudeau of Canada.

Von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola issued a joint statement marking the anniversary: “that of Russia’s full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine in manifest violation of international law and the UN Charter”.

“Two years of violence, brutality, terror and destruction. We shall never forget the initial shock of the attack, the horror of the events in Borodianka, Bucha, Mariupol,” the joint statement said.

“Yet, in spite of all the continuing atrocities and suffering inflicted upon it across the country, Ukraine is standing firm. The heroic Ukrainian people are demonstrating fortitude and determination in defending their homeland and fighting for their freedom and our shared European values.”

The statement said that the EC will always support Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

The illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol 10 years ago marked the beginning of Russia’s sustained aggression against Ukraine, it said.

“Russia and its leadership bear sole responsibility for this war and its global consequences, as well as for the serious crimes committed. We remain determined to hold them to account, including for the crime of aggression.”

The EU had decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and will help it on its path towards EU membership.

“The future of Ukraine lies in the European Union. The European Union will continue to provide Ukraine with regular and predictable financial support,” the statement said.

The 50 billion euro financial assistance package for 2024-2027 will help Ukraine meet its immediate needs, rebuild its economy and society, modernise its institutions and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, it said.

“Russia and its leaders will pay a growing price for their actions.

“Together with partners, we have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia and those complicit in the war and remain ready to increase the pressure on Russia to limit its ability to wage war.

“We have also taken the first concrete steps towards directing extraordinary revenues stemming from Russian immobilised assets to support Ukraine. We will continue our targeted actions to further isolate Russia in international fora.”

The statement expressed support for Ukraine’s Peace Formula for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace based on the principles of the UN Charter and international law as well as all efforts towards a Global Peace Summit with the widest possible international support.

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