Belgium's De Croo and Lahbib to visit Ukraine for first time

Belgium's De Croo and Lahbib to visit Ukraine for first time
Foreign minister Hadja Lahbib and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Credit: Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck

For the first time since Russia's invasion in February, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Foreign Affairs Minister Hadja Lahbib will reportedly visit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

De Croo will go to Ukraine "in the next few hours or days," reports Le Soir on Friday afternoon, based on information from several sources. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Lahbib. For security reasons, however, neither De Croo's office nor Lahbib's office confirmed the visit.

During her visit to New York for the United Nationals General Assembly, Lahbib already told the newspaper that Belgium was waiting for "the right moment" to go to Kyiv. "We will not go empty-handed, I want to go with a project. We are working on two tracks: one for urgent measures as winter approaches and another around reconstruction," she said then.

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De Croo, for his part, has repeatedly stated that he would go to Ukraine "when the opportunity arises," without giving specifics about a possible timetable.

Belgium is one of the last EU countries (apart from Hungary and Cyprus) not to have sent any head of government to Kyiv to meet either the country's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal or Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Lahbib's upcoming arrival in Ukraine could also be a sign that relations between Brussels and Kyiv have been fully restored since the diplomatic incident over her trip to occupied Crimea on a Russian visa, before she was appointed Foreign Minister.

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