European Union leaders on Tuesday (12/10) met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and pledged to strengthen ties and support the eastern European country, particularly on issues of Russia and energy security.
Zelenskiy hosted EU Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the 23rd EU-Ukraine Summit, an annual meeting held to improve political and economic ties.
Energy issues were the main agenda of the meeting. Ukrainian leaders have expressed strong opposition to the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 passing through the country. The pipeline will carry gas from Russia to Germany, and Zelenskiy said it would increase Europe’s energy dependence on Russia.
Ukraine, which has been in conflict with Russia since the Crimea region was annexed by Moscow in 2014, wants to ensure that it will remain a major transit country even after the project. Nord Stream 2 walk.
“Energy security is also a guarantee of Ukraine’s independence and national sovereignty. The completion of Nord Stream 2 opens up new challenges for Ukraine in addition to the existing ones,” Zelenskiy told reporters after attending the meeting.
Von der Leyen said the EU understood the concerns and pledged to work with Ukrainian experts “to secure an adequate energy supply for Ukraine.”
During the meeting, the EU and Ukraine signed an “open airspace” agreement to facilitate air travel between Ukraine and EU member states, by opening up the market for airlines with low fares. (lt/ka)