Brussels, Nov 21 (EFE).- The war-weary Ukraine’s future is aligned with the European Union, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday, commemorating the 10th anniversary of an uprising that led to the removal of then pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Von der Leyen recalled how hundreds of Ukrainians gathered near a monument on Maidan, Kyiv’s Independence Square, on the night of Nov.21, 2013, to protest against Yanukovych’s decision to abandon a deal with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia.
The head of the EU Commission said it had been “10 years of dignity, 10 years of pride, and 10 years of striving for freedom” for both Ukrainians and the EU.
“The cold November nights of Euromaidan have changed Europe forever. Even back then, Europe did not realise it. A whole nation took to the streets, and spoke with one voice,” she said in a in a video message on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the uprising.
Von der Leyen said the Ukrainians asserted that their country belonged in Europe. “And our future belongs to us. And that is why the people of Ukraine wrapped themselves in European flags – defying the snipers and the riot police.”
He said the future that the Maidan protesters fought for had “finally just begun.” “The future of Ukraine is in the European Union.”
In her message on the 10th anniversary of the protests, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said the Maidan Revolution had “changed Ukraine’s future forever.”
“Ten years later, on this day of dignity and freedom, we stand proudly with Ukraine on the verge of EU accession negotiations.” she said.
Metsola said Ukraine defended “our values” and the EU support for Kyiv grew stronger “for every missile Russia launches.”
The Maidan protests began in November 2013 after Yanukovych abruptly tried to stall Ukraine’s pro-European trajectory.
Months later, Yanukovych fled the capital ahead of an impeachment vote that stripped him of his powers as president.
The historic protests also led to the Russian war against Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.
Since then, Ukraine has moved closer to being a EU member.
The decision is expected be adopted by the heads of state and government of the EU at the summit that will on Dec 14 and 15 in Brussels.
Citing anonymous sources, global media have reported that the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, will visit Ukraine on Tuesday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Maidan Revolution. EFE