27 Jan 2023 20:24

EC meeting with Ukrainian govt in Kiev agreed with local authorities - spokesperson

BRUSSELS. Jan 27 (Interfax) - A joint meeting of the European Commission (EC) and the Ukrainian government slated to take place in Kiev on February 2 is being organized under the aegis of the Ukrainian authorities, EC spokesperson Eric Mamer said.

"The event has been organized with the full support of the Ukrainian government. Otherwise, no such trip would be planned, of course," Mamer told a briefing in Brussels on Friday when asked about the risks of holding such an event in the Ukrainian capital.

The meeting "is a very strong symbol of the solidarity of the European Commission, in particular, and the European Union as a whole, with Ukraine at such a difficult time in its existence," the spokesman said.

"Certainly, such a meeting would not be possible had there not been full agreement with the Ukrainian authorities, which there is. And it is obvious that when organizing the meeting, security assessments play an important role and that the dialogue between the EC and the Ukrainian government on the matter was extremely intense and based, of course, on analysis carried out by the Ukrainian authorities in terms of security and their ability to provide guarantees and safety measures adequate to the very heavy responsibility - let me clarify this - which lies with them in general," Mamer said.

He also ducked a question about the EC coordinating with the Council of the EU ahead of an EU-Ukraine summit (the venue has yet to be confirmed), due to be held on February 3 and attended by EC President Ursula von der Leyen.

"These are two different events. On the one hand, a meeting between the [European] Commission and the [Ukrainian] government. On the other, an EU-Ukraine summit. Of course, it is for the EU Council, along with the Ukrainian authorities, to decide on the details of organizing, and decisions of a day-to-day nature as far as the summit is concerned," Mamer said.

On Friday, the EC formally announced that several Commissioners led by von der Leyen would travel to Kiev. The delegation is expected to include EU Executive Vice President for the Economy Valdis Dombrovskis, EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell, EC Vice President Margaritis Schinas, EC members Virginijus Sinkevicius (the environment, oceans and fisheries), Janusz Wojciechowski (agriculture), Ylva Johansson (home affairs), Nicolas Schmit (jobs and social rights), Paolo Gentiloni (economy) and Janez Lenarcic (crisis management).