Granada, Spain, Oct 5 (EFE).- European Union leaders meeting in Granada on Thursday pledged their continued economic, military and political support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia.
The pledge comes at a welcome time for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenksyy, who also attended the gathering, amid doubts about whether the United States remains fully committed to supporting Kyiv.
“I’ve been in Washington and I had a meeting with President (Joe) Biden and assured his 100% support, and also bipartisan support in Congress,” he said, adding that he understood the “difficult election period” the US was facing that could undermine the strength of American support for Ukraine.
Upon the Ukrainian leader’s arrival in the southern Spanish city for the summit of the European Political Community, Zelenskyy highlighted the importance of protecting the unity of all Europe and “for Ukraine to have a defensive shield for the winter.”
Zelenskyy’s appeal came on the same day that Russia committed a “clearly brutal crime” by bombing a residential area in a village in the northeastern Ukrainian province of Kharkiv, killing at least 51 people.
Prior to the summit, the Ukrainian president held a half-hour meeting with Spanish interim prime minister and host of the event, Pedro Sanchez, who promised to deliver six more Hawk missile launchers for the Ukrainian army.
Zelenskyy also met with French president Emmanuel Macron and predicted “good news” for the Ukrainian army with the possibility of Paris sending more air defense systems.
Strengthening the country’s air defense and the security of the Odesa region and the Black Sea are two “critically important” issues, he said.
Similarly, he was assured by the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, who reiterated Rome’s continued support for Ukraine, despite the doubts expressed by Italy’s defense minister.
The message was echoed by various leaders of the European Union institutions, such as the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who assured that the bloc has the “determination” to help Kyiv and to guarantee “the future security architecture of Europe”.
“We are with you and with the Ukrainian people”, said the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
The EU institutions are currently negotiating two different aid packages: on the one hand, a new 50 billion euro economic assistance program and, on the other hand, another 5 billion euro extension of the European Peace Facility (EPF) which has been used mainly to finance weapons deliveries to Kyiv. EFE