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Russia poses an existential threat to Europe, warns President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen

Von der Leyen affirmed Europe’s unwavering support for Ukraine and urged EU member countries to remain steadfast in their solidarity in the face of Russian aggression.
Ursula von der Leyen Ukraine EU
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaking during a meeting of EU Commissioners with the Ukrainian government in Kyiv on 2 February 2023. Photo:
Russia poses an existential threat to Europe, warns President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen

On 24 April, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc cannot overlook and overstate that Russia poses an existential threat to Ukraine and Europe during the European Parliament formal sitting on the 20th anniversary of the 2004 EU Enlargement.

The president of the European Commission said that Russia’s victory over Ukraine would not only change the map but would change the course of European history, and the bloc would never be the same. Therefore, it’s vital for the EU to help Ukraine win over Moscow’s occupation troops.

“Ukraine is carrying that heavy burden on its shoulders for all of us, and it is paying the ultimate price every day for that. We have seen the devastating attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and the difficult days on the battlefield.

My friends, there is only one way to face up to this. There is only one language Putin understands. And that is providing Ukraine with means to defend themselves,” emphasized Ursula von der Leyen.

According to the president of the European Commission, the recent $61 billion military assistance from the US and aid packages from the EU serve as an encouragement for the bloc to do even more.

“For Europe to win the future – just as it did 20 years ago – Ukraine must win,” the official said.

The same day, the EU Commission disbursed the second installment of exceptional bridge financing to Ukraine under the Ukraine Facility, amounting to €1.5 billion.

“The disbursement follows the positive assessment by the Commission of the agreed policy conditions linked to reforms in the area of judiciary, anti-money laundering, public finance management, business environment, and agriculture, as well as reporting requirements to ensure the transparent and efficient use of the funds,” said the EU Commission’s statement.

A general precondition for support under the Ukraine Facility that will ensure that Ukraine can continue to keep the state and essential services running for the population while fighting back against the aggressor is respect for effective democratic mechanisms.

On 1 March, the Ukraine Facility, which foresees up to €50 billion of stable financing in grants and loans to support Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction, and modernization from 2024 to 2027, entered into force.

Under the terms of the agreement, up to €32 billion is indicatively earmarked to back reforms and investments in the country set out in the Ukraine Plan established to implement reforms.

“We will work closely with the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the implementation of the Ukraine Plan, which I expect the (EU) Council to agree on swiftly. This will pave the way for regular and predictable disbursements under the €50 billion Ukraine Facility,” claimed President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

She added that Europe remains united in its support for Ukraine and called on the EU member countries to continue standing resolute with the country and provide assistance to deter Russian aggression.

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