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EU reiterates its firm support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty

As the conflict in Ukraine nears its third year, senior EU officials reiterated their firm backing for Kyiv against Moscow on Friday.

Published February 23,2024

As the war in Ukraine is about to enter its third year, top EU officials on Friday expressed the bloc's "strong and unwavering" support for Kyiv against Russia.

In a joint statement, European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola marked the "tragic anniversary."

"Yet, in spite of all the continuing atrocities and suffering inflicted upon it across the country, Ukraine is standing firm," said the statement.

Reiterating that the EU will always support Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, the top EU officials said the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol 10 years ago marked "the beginning of Russia's sustained aggression against Ukraine."

"Russia and its leadership bear sole responsibility for this war and its global consequences, as well as for the serious crimes committed," they said.

This month marks two years since Russia launched its war on Ukraine, and also 10 years since it illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and the city of Sevastopol.

Mentioning how the EU has decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine, the statement said the "future of Ukraine lies in the European Union."

A €50 billion ($54.1 billion) EU financial assistance package for 2024-2027 will help Ukraine "meet its immediate needs, rebuild its economy and society, modernise its institutions and consolidate democracy and the rule of law," it said.

"Today, our flags will be flying side by side as a symbol of our solidarity, commitment and resolve," added the statement.