Versailles Summit, the EU ready for new sanctions against Russia. No to the accelerated accession of Kiev

Of Francesca Basso

European Union leaders meeting in Versailles, France, call on the Commission to also give an opinion on the candidacies of Moldova and Georgia

VERSAILLES – The President of the European Council Charles Michelat the end of the first day of informal summit between EU leader at Versailles, invited by the French president Emmanuel Macrontook stock of the discussion of over four hours onRussian military aggression of Ukraine, which finished just before 2.30 on Friday morning: further penalties against Russia, how to help Kiev and definition of the relationship between Ukraine and the European Union after the request for adhesion.

The final declaration, which in the drafts was four points, was lengthened, including a reference to Moldova and Georgia. The request for adhesion of Ukraine to the EU, the issue that took a long time to work on, explained the Slovenian premier Janez Jansa at the end of the meeting: We were dividedwith the majority believing that membership is a matter for the long termbut there is the strong political message that belong to ours European family.

The EU countries were divided on the process to follow, with the Baltic States and Poland in favor of a accelerated procedure as the Ukrainian president had also asked Zelensky. The Dutch premier had been explicit right from the start of the summit and also at the end Mark Rutte reiterated that does not exist a path foraccelerated adhesion Ukraine to the European Union: There is the path of the request that we are following and that it could take months or years and on the other hand, for the short term, we supply support And humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. The EU leaders in their conclusions, awaiting the Commission’s opinion on the application for membership, according to the traditional process, declare that will strengthen further and without delay i our bonds and we will deepen ours partnership to support Ukraine in pursuing its European path. Ukraine belongs to our European family.

Furthermore, the Council invited the Commission to present its opinions on nominations from the Republic of Moldova and of Georgia. EU leaders condemn themilitary aggression not provoked e unjustified of Russia and place the responsibility for the war entirely on Russia and on the Belarushis accomplice: Those responsible will be called to answer for theirs crimesalso for the indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian goods, reads the final declaration in which EU leaders demand that Russia cease your military actions and withdraw all military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, immediately And without conditionsand that fully respects theterritorial integritythe sovereignty and theindependence of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

They also ask that they be immediately guaranteed there safety and the protection of the Ukrainian nuclear facilities with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency. EU leaders commend the people of Ukraine in defending the country and our shared values ​​of freedom and of democracy and undertake to provide, in a coordinated manner, political support, financial, material And humanitarian and to provide help for the reconstruction. EU countries remain ready to proceed quickly with further penalties to further increase EU pressure on Russia and Belarus.

Germany, Holland, Austria and Hungary remain opposed to measures to hit the energy sector. The Council reiterates the temporary protection to all refugees from the war in Ukraine, the EU will continue to provide humanitarian support, medical and financial to all refugees and host countries. Russia must guarantee thesecure access exwithout restrictions ofhumanitarian aid to victims and internally displaced people in Ukraine – the leaders write – and allow a safe passage to civilians who want to leave. Michel explained that EU High Representative Josep Borrell announced the will of mobilize another 500 million euros from the European fund for peace for material support for Ukraine.

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