President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President of the European Council Charles Michel who arrived in Ukraine on a visit.
Welcoming the President of the European Council to Kyiv, the Head of State noted that Charles Michel is a true friend of Ukraine and that today's negotiations are meaningful and important.
"I informed Mr. President about the situation on the battlefield, on the frontline, on what the enemy's next steps might be. Thank you, Charles, for your willingness to consistently help Ukraine and our people. I am sincerely grateful to you for this. And thank you for your deep understanding of all the needs of our warriors and for promoting our policy of supporting Ukraine. The sooner the necessary decisions are made by some leaders directly in Europe on defense supplies to our fighters, Ukrainian warriors, the more reliably we will be able to guarantee the safety of our people, the safety of all Europeans," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
According to him, in addition to defense issues, the parties discussed further strengthening of sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation, steps to implement the Ukrainian Peace Formula, where the European Union can become one of the powerful leaders and help expand the circle of partners, as well as bilateral cooperation with the EU and the process of Ukraine's European integration, which is a priority for every citizen of our country.
"Sanctions against Russia significantly reduce the potential of a terrorist state and should remain one of the key defense tools for Europe and the world. Therefore, it is very important that sanctions are powerful and substantive. The strength of such sanctions should be able to stop aggression," the President of Ukraine emphasized.
According to the Head of State, today they discussed specific decisions that could increase pressure on Russia and its accomplices, particularly Iran, which continues to supply Iranian drones for terror. Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope that the tenth EU sanctions package would be even more effective.
"The time has come for sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry, against all its sectors, organizations, and all entities working for the Russian missile program. We also need new steps in the energy sector, including an embargo on Russian energy carriers," the President emphasized.
The parties discussed specific measures that could ensure the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula.
"I greatly appreciate the EU's support for our formula, the willingness of Mr. President to participate and be one of the leaders of the Peace Formula Summit, which we will definitely conduct and which will be organized accordingly," the Head of State said.
He expressed hope that not only EU member states, but also candidate states would be involved in the implementation of the Peace Formula and support for relevant international efforts, including the UN General Assembly resolution that is being prepared.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also thanked Charles Michel for his high assessment of Ukraine's implementation of the European Commission's recommendations for membership in the European Union. According to the President of Ukraine, the next step may be an interim positive assessment of Ukraine's efforts by the EU.
"I informed Mr. President about the decisions Ukraine has made, the progress we have made, and noted that we should start negotiations this year. This is our goal for Ukraine's membership in the EU. We have all the necessary prerequisites for this. We have great motivation, great desire, we are moving forward," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
The parties discussed the main expectations for the current year, including the strengthening of energy security on the continent in view of the Russian terror against Ukrainian energy facilities.
The Head of State thanked for the large package of support for the Ukrainian budget from the EU in the amount of EUR 18 billion and the allocation of the first tranche (EUR 3 billion).
The two leaders also discussed preparations for the 24th EU-Ukraine Summit to be held in early February.
"We expect very concrete results, we expect agreements," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
"I am thankful to Mr. President, I am thankful to all Europeans, society, European leaders for all the support - military, political, financial, humanitarian - that is provided to our country, our people, and helps us to preserve life, the stability of our defense, and social stability. I am particularly grateful to the European Parliament for the resolution it has just adopted to support the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine. We are working on a large scale, and this scale of cooperation is a new history for both Ukraine and the European Union. The global significance of our cooperation is obvious. And therefore, it is obvious that the efforts that contribute to this cooperation deserve the highest honors," the Head of State summarized.
For his part, Charles Michel noted that since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the European Union has immediately chosen to mobilize maximum support for the Ukrainian state.
"Recently, Ukraine has been receiving heavy weapons, air defense. And I think we need to continue moving in this direction. Because perhaps the next few weeks will be crucial and decisive," he said.
In addition, the EU is constantly mobilizing its financial resources to support Ukraine. Charles Michel recalled the EU's decision to provide our country with macro-financial assistance totaling EUR 18 billion in 2023.
Charles Michel emphasized the importance of humanitarian aid, support for internally displaced persons, and political support for Ukraine.
"We have mobilized support for the choice of your free, sovereign people to become a member of the European Union. A few months ago, we granted you candidate status and we are determined to work directly and closely with you, Volodymyr, with our teams to move forward. So that everyone can do their part of the job as quickly as possible," said the President of the European Council.
In his opinion, another important aspect of supporting Ukraine is the restoration of justice. To do this, we need to act at the level of all international organizations, collect evidence, mobilize all legal institutions to ensure that justice is restored and the assets of all those involved in Russian aggression against Ukraine are frozen.
"I hope that this asset freeze will help in rebuilding Ukraine after the war. The European Council is also working for this," Charles Michel emphasized.