Photo: Etienne Ansotte, © European Union, 2021
Excerpts from an interview by DW
In an interview with DW, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the EU Commission exerts a 'practical and fast' approach to supporting Ukraine, from ammunition production to facilitating Ukrainian refugees' direct access to the labor market, the schooling- and health system, and Social Security.
"I want to acknowledge and thank all the Europeans who have opened their hearts and homes to the Ukrainian refugees", she says. This is why we introduced the Temporary Protection Directive, which means direct access for Ukraine to the labor market, the schooling system, the health system, and social security. It is also to remove the burden off the shoulders of the ordinary people."
"I have been deeply impressed by the bravery, courage, and resilience of the Ukrainian people. I was touched and proud of the European unity, resolve, and determination."
Von der Leyen: "I think nothing about Ukraine is out of Ukraine. Ukraine, fighting for its independence and serenity, decides when they want to sit down at the negotiation table with the aggressor. Also, China has taken sides very clearly: It has signed an unlimited-friendship agreement with Russia, so it has taken a specific position. We should keep that in mind. China is not neutral towards the whole process."
"Ukraine is fighting for our basic values, for the respect for international law, for the UN Charter, and for the fact that today you cannot send tanks across a border and unleash aggression. Ukraine is fighting for existential values that we show full support from our side. Putin's imperialistic plan must fail."
"My message to the Ukrainian people is that we can never, ever match the sacrifices of the Ukrainian people. They are outstanding, but we can stand by their side as we did from day one on, and we will continue to do that as long as it takes."