Correspondent in Brussels
Correspondent in Brussels
President Zelensky will be in Brussels this Thursday and will find the Twenty-Seven meeting at the summit there.
This visit, the possibility of which had already been made public in the media earlier this week, has not been officially confirmed by the European institutions.
But after a Wednesday spent in London, President Zelensky will not skip Brussels, it is said, on the occasion of this European tour which comes almost a year before the start of the war and while Russia prepares a large-scale offensive.
The Europeans' invitation had been launched a long time ago by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
For security reasons, Zelensky had until then preferred to meet with the heads of state and government of the EU by videoconference, from Ukraine.
I really want to move, but there are really significant risks because of Russia's attempts to take revenge
", he explained again last week from Kiev, at the end of the 24th EU-Ukraine summit while Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen had made the trip there.
Read alsoWar in Ukraine: kyiv fears a major Russian offensive “within ten days”
In Brussels, the Ukrainian president is expected to deliver a speech in the European Parliament, where an extraordinary plenary has been convened for 10 a.m., then join the Twenty-Seven gathered at the Council's premises to share lunch with them.
Or vice versa, since the agenda was not finalized Wednesday at the end of the day.
Unless changed, the distinguished guest should not meet Jens Stoltenberg.
The teams of the Atlantic Alliance, headquartered in Brussels, argued Wednesday that the Secretary General of NATO is traveling to the United States until Thursday.
This surprise visit shakes up the summit somewhat.
The Twenty-Seven were to devote most of their meeting to migration issues and the EU's response to the massive subsidies granted by Washington to its industries, reserving part of their trade for Ukraine, as is the case. at each summit for a year.
On the program in particular, the frozen assets and the way in which this windfall of several hundred billion dollars could be used to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine.
We would like to move forward on this issue.
It is a question of seeing how to use the assets, to invest them, to make them bear fruit
”, indicates a senior civil servant without sweeping away the delicate legal questions which arise.
Among the other subjects on the agenda, the sanctions against Russia, while a tenth package of measures is in preparation at the Commission;
the question of responsibility for the atrocities committed by Russian officials in Ukraine and that of EU membership.
In the draft conclusion, the Twenty-Seven reaffirm their support for Ukraine.
They also point to the aid granted to this country by the EU and the Member States since the start of the war: nearly 68 billion euros in total, including the support of the 4 million Ukrainians who have taken refuge in the EU.
This is 8 billion euros more than the amount communicated last week at the EU-Ukraine summit in kyiv.
The Ukrainian president will speak to leaders who are the most committed and who have made the greatest efforts since the start of the war in Ukraine
,” an EU diplomat believes.
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However, Zelensky could not find his account there.
From Wednesday, from Brussels, a Ukrainian official also warned the Twenty-Seven: “
My president is moving to obtain results
If Zelensky is in Europe, it is above all to "
accelerate the delivery of arms to his country
" and to obtain the promise of a start in 2026 of accession negotiations for Ukraine.
The fighter planes claimed by kyiv should thus fuel the exchanges.
The Ukrainian president would then have a fair chance to argue that London – visited before Brussels – undertook on Wednesday to train Ukrainian pilots in this type of equipment, thus paving the way for future deliveries.
As for the accession negotiations, they require unanimity, and certain Member States, in particular France and the Netherlands, believe that Ukraine does not yet tick all the boxes.
I remember that at Versailles
(in March 2022, editor’s note),
they said that candidate status would take time.
Three months later, Ukraine got it.
So, we'll see
,” quips a senior EU official.
Charles Michel wanted to bring Zelensky.
But no one sees what more can be said than last week in Kyiv
,” admits an EU diplomat.
The Twenty-Seven cannot, however, afford to see the Ukrainian president return to his country empty-handed.