“We will take stock of the joint efforts needed for reconstruction and of Ukraine’s progress on its European path,” said von der Leyen on her arrival in Kyiv on Saturday morning. “This will feed into our assessment, which we will present shortly.”
The European Commission is expected to publish its assessment next Friday on whether Ukraine should be granted candidate status for EU membership. Linked to such a recommendation would probably be reform commitments in areas such as the rule of law or the fight against corruption.
Von der Leyen’s trip to Kyiv is her second since the war began on February 24. For security reasons, it was not announced publicly in advance. In April, von der Leyen visited the Kiev suburb of Bucha, where war crimes had recently become public. At that time, she presented Selensky with the list of questions that her authority uses to assess Ukraine’s EU ambitions.
Meanwhile, there is criticism of Ukraine from the White House: According to US President Joe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has warned of a Russian invasion shortly before the start of the war Biden ignored. There was “no doubt” that Russia would “cross the border,” he said Biden at an event in Los Angeles on Friday. “Zelenskyj didn’t want to hear that, and neither did many others.”