European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Kiev on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. She said the visit on May 9, the day when the European Union celebrates Europe Day and Russia holds military parades, has a symbolic value.
Von der Leyen confirmed upon her arrival that “Ukraine is part of the European family,” according to a reporter from the European Newsroom, a collaboration with several European news agencies. “My presence in Kiev today, May 9, is symbolic, but it also paints a very practical reality”: the close cooperation between Brussels and Kiev.
For example, they are discussing how to pave the way for the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, according to von der Leyen. Ukraine gained candidate status at lightning speed last year, but these negotiations are the essential next step toward membership.
Just like the European Union, Ukraine would like to celebrate Europe Day on May 9 and mark the beginning of European cooperation. The committee chairman “strongly welcomes President Zelensky’s decision.” Until now, May 9 in Ukraine, as in Russia, is marked by the victory over Nazi Germany. In the future, Zelensky, like many Western countries, wants to stand still from the day before.
“It’s a very suitable place to celebrate Europe Day,” says von der Leyen. “Where the values we hold dear are fought every day.”
Read also. Even speculation that Putin will deliver his speech from a bulletproof cage: Moscow holds its breath at today’s infamous May 9 celebration (+)
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