Gaza war draws attention away from Ukraine, says Zelensky
KYIV: (Web Desk) Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war between Israel and Hamas had also drawn attention away from Ukraine, and said that this was “Russia’s goal”.
“Of course, it’s clear that the war in the Middle East, this conflict, is taking away the focus,” Zelensky said.
“We have already been in very difficult situations when there was almost no focus on Ukraine,” he said, but added: “I am absolutely sure we will overcome this challenge.”
Ukraine’s backers, including the United States, have maintained they are ready to support Kyiv with military and financial support for as long as it takes to defeat Russia, according to France 24.
Zelensky’s comments came as EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen visited Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s progress toward joining the 27-member bloc.
Kyiv received EU candidacy status several months after Russia invaded last year, but analysts have warned it faces a long and difficult path to membership.
“You have reached many milestones,” von der Leyen told Zelensky.
“Reforming your justice system. Curbing the oligarchs grip. Tackling money laundering and much more,” she said.
“We should never forget you are fighting an existential war, and at the same time you’re deeply reforming your country,” she added.
She said she was “confident” Ukraine would progress with the accession process when these reforms were implemented.
The EU Commission has proposed an additional 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in funding for Ukraine until 2027, von der Leyen said.
Almost all EU member states back further long-term aid for Kyiv, with only Hungary and Slovakia holding out.
The Commission now has until November 8 to submit a report on how much progress Ukraine and other EU hopefuls Moldova and Georgia have made ahead of a summit of the bloc in December.