Ahead of Ukraine-EU summit, MEPs reaffirm support for Kyiv

Ahead of Ukraine-EU summit, MEPs reaffirm support for Kyiv
Ukrainian Flag is raised at the EP building in Strasbourg. Credit: EP Photo

Ahead of the Ukraine-EU summit, due to take place in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Friday, the European Parliament and Council of the EU have agreed on further commitments to Ukraine’s EU membership and military support.

At a session of the European Parliament on Thursday, MEPs reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine’s EU membership, but called for a merit-based accession process. As previously reported, some EU officials have cast doubt on Ukraine’s plans to fast-track its membership process.

In a text adopted by the Parliament, MEPs demand that the EU works “toward the start of the accession negotiations and to support a roadmap outlining the next steps to enable Ukraine’s accession to the EU single market.”

MEPs also called on Ukrainian authorities to introduce significant reforms to align with EU membership criteria as soon as possible. Accession is merit-based, they affirmed, and all factors must be fulfilled for membership.

The Parliament urged the EU to step up its support for Ukraine's military, in particular by providing weapons, as well as political, economic, infrastructure, financial, and humanitarian support. The MEPs also want the upcoming summit to include a comprehensive post-war recovery package for Ukraine, working on reconstruction in the short-, medium, and long-term.

The resolution reiterates the Parliament’s previous demand to use frozen assets from Russia’s Central Bank, as well as those seized from Russian oligarchs, to finance post-war reconstruction.

Sanctions have also returned to the spotlight. MEPs are now calling for a tenth package of sanctions against Moscow to be implemented as soon as possible. This would notably sanction companies such as Lukoil and Rosatom, which are still active in the European market, including in Belgium.

The new sanctions would also expand the EU list of sanctioned individuals to include Russian officials involved in illegal activities, including forced deportations and fake referenda. MEPs also called for a full embargo on EU imports of fossil fuels and uranium from Russia, and for the abandonment of both Nord Stream pipelines.

The text was adopted with 498 votes in favour, 36 against, and 49 abstentions.

European Peace Facility

Meanwhile, in the Council of the EU, government ministers from EU countries agreed on further military support for Ukraine under the European Peace Facility (EPF). Notably, the ministers approved a seventh package worth 500 million, as well as a 45 facilities towards training within the European Union Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM Ukraine).

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“Ukraine should get all the necessary military equipment and training they need to defend their territory and their people from Russia’s war of aggression,” said Josep Borrel, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. “They are not just defending their country; they are also defending our common values and the basic principles of international law.”

According to the EU foreign affairs chief, the new measures send a “clear message” during a crucial time for Ukraine. The new decision brings the total EU contribution under the peace facility to 3.6 billion. EUMAM Ukraine provides non-lethal equipment and supplies and service to back training activities.

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