Remarks by President Charles Michel at the press conference with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal

(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)

Thank you for the opportunity to be here with you in Odessa, in Ukraine. This is an important day because May 9th is a remembrance day in Europe. We want to do everything we can to support Ukraine and to support the people of Ukraine. That is why we decided immediately to provide military equipment. And we will maintain all our efforts to support your army.

We also want to support you with financial means.  We understand very well that you need money as soon as possible to fulfil the humanitarian needs. We also want to make it possible for you to have access to liquidity to be able to run the country on a daily basis.

We understand that the rebuilding of the country must start immediately, and that is why we fully support this initiative taken by your government. We intend to be a good and strong partner in helping to rebuild your country.

We are also determined to put pressure on the Kremlin by deciding on sanctions.  We have decided to end the EU dependency on Russian fossil fuels.  And we are very close to an agreement to ban Russian oil.   We have also frozen the assets of many oligarchs. And personally, I think that we should also try to confiscate these assets in order to make the means and the money available for the rebuilding of the country.

We are convinced that, with sanctions, we need to do everything in order to break the Russian war machine.

Finally, we understand that this city is playing an important role in the food security of the world.  Millions of tons of food are currently blocked here in Odessa.  This means potentially dramatic consequences for many countries in the world, especially for developing countries.   This is the direct responsibility of this war started by Russia.  We must do everything to work together to address this food security challenge, which is important for the world.

Your country and the people of Ukraine made a clear choice. It started with Maidan. This is your choice for the free world, for the democratic principles, and for the fundamental values. You also made the free choice to apply to become a member of the EU.  We perfectly understand that you are fighting with courage in order to protect and to defend the future of your country and the security of your children. But you are also fighting to defend our common European principles and values.

Our message here today is not only a symbolic message. My message is you are not alone. We are on your side.  Our support is, and will be, unwavering.

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.