From Brussels via Poland to Kiev on the nighttrain: The enr-pooler accompanied Ursula von der Leyen to Kiev who marked the annual Europe Day celebration of peace and unity in Ukraine.  

Speaking on the occasion of Ukraine’s first Europe Day celebrations, von der Leyen referred to the pending opening of EU accession talks, saying that “it is important to have this discussion at this time in view of the forthcoming reports by the Commission and the Council”.

Ursula von der Leyen held discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and also met with Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal. “I come out from this visit more impressed than ever by the determination of the Ukrainians, despite the huge challenges they face. We must continue to support them,” she said. 

During a meeting with Olena Zelenska, the wife of the Ukrainian president, von der Leyen said one of the topics was the heavy toll the war had on children. “I discussed with the First Lady how to support children traumatised by the atrocious war,” she said on her way back to Brussels. “We must do everything we can to protect them, including their mental health.”

Von der Leyen was visiting the Ukrainian capital for the fifth time since the Russian invasion began 14 months ago. This was the first pool trip for the enr. The shared information was disseminated through the respective wires of the participating agencies.
The joint Key Story about Europe Day can be found here.

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