President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had the first phone conversation of the year with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The leaders agreed to maintain the dynamics of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the new year.
The Head of State informed the President of the European Commission on the situation on the battlefield and consequences of regular Russian shelling of civilian infrastructure of our state with missiles and drones.
The President of the European Commission assured of unwavering solidarity with Ukraine and stressed that the EU would stand with our state in the struggle against the aggressor in 2023 as well, until Ukraine's victory. The parties discussed ways to further strengthen the capacity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by supplying appropriate weapons.
A separate topic of conversation was the implementation of a new macro-financial assistance program for Ukraine in the amount of EUR 18 billion. Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed the importance of receiving the first tranche of this assistance in the amount of EUR 3 billion already in January.
The Head of State expressed gratitude for the active involvement of the European Commission in the implementation of a number of humanitarian initiatives in our country. The parties agreed that the first 15 million LED lamps financed by the EC would be delivered to Ukraine in January. Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted the importance of quick practical implementation and involvement of the EU member states in the initiative of the First Lady to purchase school buses for the affected regions of our country. The parties discussed the implementation of the project on the reconstruction of 74 destroyed Ukrainian schools, for the financing of which the EU has allocated EUR 100 million. The President of Ukraine is hopeful that these institutions will be reconstructed by September this year.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed Ursula von der Leyen of the progress of Ukraine's implementation of the seven recommendations of the European Commission provided in the context of Ukraine’s acquisition of the EU candidate status. The President of the European Commission noted the great progress made by Ukraine on that path. The Head of State emphasized the willingness of the Ukrainian party to complete the relevant work shortly in order to start pre-accession negotiations this year.
The parties discussed expected results of the next Ukraine-EU summit to be held on February 3 in Kyiv and agreed to intensify preparatory work.