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Remarks by President Charles Michel following his meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy via video conference in Odesa, Ukraine

Remarks given yesterday by President Charles Michel following his meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy via video conference in Odesa, Ukraine.

Dear President, thank you. It is very important for me to be here today. You mentioned that this is a symbolic day. It is important to show that we are not intimidated by Russia. My presence is a symbol of the EU’s unwavering support for you and for Ukraine.

I want to confirm that we will offer the maximum support to you, to your team, and to all the people in Ukraine. On military equipment, you need it and we will provide as much as we can.  On financial support, a few days ago, we had a pledging conference in Warsaw. This was the first important step in building this Marshall Plan to support your initiatives. And we will try to coordinate with all friends across the world to mobilise financial support, money and expertise, so you are able to address the humanitarian challenges and to be able to run your country.  You also need liquidity and to start rebuilding your country.

Finally, an important element for you and for us is your EU application. You have decided to choose the free world. This is the free choice of the people of Ukraine. It is reflected in the decision you have taken, with the government, to apply to become a member of the EU.  In the coming weeks, in June, the Commission will publish their opinion on that.  And we will be ready to meet at the level of the European Council. Volodymyr, you know that we know that you and the people of Ukraine are fighting for your homeland, for the future of your children, and for your freedoms.  But you are also fighting for our common European principles, values and democratic rights.

That is why it is our moral duty to support you as much as we can.  I am touched to be here in Ukraine, the second time since the start of the war, and the fifth time in 14 months, because last year I had the opportunity to come several times. So I would like to reiterate, on behalf of the EU, that the people of Ukraine can count on our full support. We are impressed by your resilience, by your courage, and by your personal leadership and the leadership of the authorities of this country.  We are also impressed by the courage of all the Ukrainian people.

Thank you again for all you are doing.

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Barend Leyts

Spokesperson for the European Council President

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+32 486 22 68 65

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