European Union leaders are meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday for a summit to discuss the ongoing conflict in the country’s east. The summit comes as Kyiv presses criminal charges against the chief of the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization that has been active in the conflict.
The summit is being held amid heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russia, with Kyiv accusing Moscow of backing separatist forces in the region. The EU has been a strong supporter of Ukraine’s sovereignty, and EU leaders have vowed to continue standing with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.
During the summit, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Zelensky to discuss the conflict and the EU’s support for Ukraine. Von der Leyen said the EU would continue to “stand with you to win and rebuild,” and promised to help Ukraine rebuild its infrastructure and strengthen its economy.
The summit comes after a series of deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and separatist forces backed by Russia. The fighting has killed over 14,000 people since it began in 2014, and has displaced hundreds of thousands more.
The EU and Ukraine have also discussed the possibility of a new trade agreement, which could help to strengthen economic ties between the two sides. The agreement would also help Ukraine to move closer to the EU and away from Russia.
The summit is expected to last two days, and EU leaders are hopeful that it will help to bring an end to the conflict in Ukraine.