Zelenskyy assesses visit to Brussels with EU leaders – POLITICO
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is planning a trip to Brussels later this week, just days after hosting a group of senior EU leaders in Kyiv.
Tentative preparations are underway to host the Ukrainian president on Thursday, with Zelenskyy expected to address the European Parliament and meet over lunch with EU leaders at a European Council summit, according to multiple people briefed on the talks. foreseen.
The trip would mark Zelenskyy’s second excursion outside the country since Russia invaded Ukraine last February. He traveled to Washington, DC, in December to advocate for increased financial and military aid from the United States.
European Council President Charles Michel has pleaded for Zelenskyy to visit Brussels during his trip to Kyiv on January 19, according to a senior EU source, but Ukrainian officials have not committed to a visit at the time. Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen then discussed the idea again with Zelenskyy and Ukrainian officials during their visit to Kyiv last week.
Zelenskyy appeared to play down that possibility at a Friday news conference in Kyiv alongside the two EU leaders, saying there is a “very significant risk” associated with his visit to Brussels.
Bringing Zelenskyy to Brussels would be a huge security challenge.
A European Council spokesperson and a European Commission spokesperson declined to confirm the possible visit, noting that there is an open invitation for Zelenskyy to travel to Brussels.
An official familiar with the talks told POLITICO it is more likely than not that Zelenskyy will make the trip, but warned no final decision has been made.
The format for Thursday’s summit is still evolving, with the European Council due to brief leaders on scheduling plans later on Monday.
At last week’s EU-Ukraine summit – the first to take place in an active war zone – Zelenskyy implored the bloc to take a tougher stance against Russia on sanctions, and he urged the countries reluctant to support sanctions against individuals linked to Russian nuclear. energy company Rosatom.
He also called for speeding up Ukraine’s application to join the EU.