Von der Leyen gives Ukraine questionnaire for EU accession discussionsComments
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a symbolic gesture to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy that could kickstart his country's membership in the bloc in her first visit to Kyiv since the war started.
In a joint press conference, Von der Leyen gave Zelenskyy a questionnaire that marked the starting point for a membership decision. "It will not, as usual, be a matter of years to form this opinion but I think a matter of weeks,” she said.
Zelenskyy then laughed and added that it would take his team only a week to answer the questions.
Speaking at the press conference, Von der Leyen said that "Russia will descend into economic, financial, and technological decay, while Ukraine is marching towards the European future, this is what I see."
Earlier that day, Von der Leyen visited Bucha - where Russian forces killed hundreds of civilians before they pulled out of the Kyiv region. She then said that Bucha revealed the "cruel face" of the Russian army.
Russia denies targeting civilians in the city. Instead, it argued that the images were the result of a "monstrous forgery”.
EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell also accompanied Von der Leyen on the trip. And he said that he hoped that in the next couple of days, the EU could give the country €500 million for military assistance.
Borrell also announced that the EU’s ambassador would return to Kyiv.