Ukraine is ‘one of us and we want them in the EU,’ says EC chief von der Leyen

28 February, 01:07 PM
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Photo:Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Photo:Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS)

Ukraine is “one of us and we want them in the European Union,” Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, said in an interview with the Euronews television news channel on Feb. 27.

The interview came after Brussels announced it was sending weapons to Ukraine, banning Russian-backed media in the EU and prohibiting Russian aircraft from the bloc.

“We have a process with Ukraine that is, for example, integrating the Ukrainian market into the single market,” von der Leyen said.

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“We have very close cooperation on the energy grid, for example. (There are) so many topics where we work very closely together and indeed over time, they belong to us. They are one of us and we want them in,” she said.

In an interview for the U.S.-based Politico political media outlet on Feb. 27, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that Europe is now operating in a new paradigm, under which Ukraine should be offered a “special track” toward integration. The Slovak leader deplored Russia’s bombing of civilians in Ukraine and pushed for the creation of a new type of pathway toward EU membership especially for Kyiv.

On Feb. 26, Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted that Poland advocates an express path for Ukraine’s membership of the EU.

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