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EU leaders reaffirm support for Ukraine at Brussels summit

27.10.2023 12:30
European Union leaders have reaffirmed their support for Ukraine during a summit in Brussels, saying that the growing crisis in the Middle East must not weaken efforts to help Kyiv defend itself against Russia's invasion, according to news reports on Friday.
Charles Michel

EU leaders were meeting at a two-day summit in Brussels to discuss challenges including the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Mideast and Russia's war against Ukraine.

While the first day of the meeting on Thursday was dominated by the Israel-Hamas conflict, most leaders stressed the need to maintain attention on the other war on Europe’s doorstep, warning that distraction from Ukraine would play into the hands of the Kremlin, the euronews.com website reported.

“This should not take our attention away from Ukraine; this is exactly what Putin wants,” European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said, as cited by the website.

European Council President Charles Michel stated: "It's key for us to make very clear that we support Ukraine for as long as it takes."

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda declared that "the EU must continue supporting Ukraine until victory."

"There is no place for war fatigue or loss of focus," Nausėda said in a post on the X social media platform.

Michel announced that EU leaders on Thursday "had a very good discussion on the situation in the Middle East." He added that the discussion "has shown a strong unity within the European Council."

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Michel said: "Yesterday we showed our unity. Our unity is our strength. And today, I expect us again to show that we are united on important topics."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday addressed the EU summit via video link, speaking about "how security in Europe and the Middle East is connected."

EU leaders earlier this month condemned Hamas attacks on Israel and backed Israel’s right to defend itself in line with humanitarian and international law.

Poland last week condemned civilian deaths in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and called on all sides to de-escalate the conflict in the Middle East.

The Israel-Hamas war began when the Palestinian organisation Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza on October 7, according to media reports.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Friday is day 611 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, euronews.com