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Ukraine's President Zelensky meets senior EU, NATO officials in Brussels

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By Philip Pangalos
Ukraine's President Zelensky meets senior EU, NATO officials in Brussels

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, met with senior European Union officials in Brussels on Tuesday in the first foreign visit since his election on April 21.

Talks centred on internal political reform and Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's President reiterated that Kiev wants to join the EU and NATO and met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He will also meet with EU Council leader Donald Tusk on Wednesday.

"The goal of all our reforms is to improve living standard of Ukrainians, root out corruption and modernise the state. It's possible to accomplish only by providing our national security. We are ready to negotiate with Russia. We are ready to implement the Minsk agreements. However, we must first be able to protect ourselves and to become stronger," he said.

Kiev and Brussels have already been discussing how they can work together more closely, including ways to align political and economic policies.

However, the warming of relations between the EU and Ukraine is likely to see Moscow step up efforts to retaliate.

Russia has already declared that Ukrainians living in the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk would be granted citizenship.

Following the annexation of the Crimean peninsula the EU has supported Ukraine by imposing sanctions on Russia.