EU vows to support Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that war-torn Ukraine would have the backing of Brussels for as long as necessary as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. “We will never be able to match the sacrifice that the Ukrainians are making… but what we can tell you is that you’ll have your European friends by your side as long as it takes,” she said during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday in Kyiv. Von der Leyen also said that Ukraine’s accession process to join the European Union “is well on track” and congratulated Ukraine on its recent military accomplishments in the war with Russia. For his part, Zelenskyy said that his country wants to join the European single market ahead of a decision on whether to grant Kyiv full EU membership. Von der Leyen had announced her visit on Wednesday during her State of the European Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, for which Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was present. Thursday’s visit marks von der Leyen’s third trip to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February.