Van der Leyen: Russia threatens “disintegration”, Ukraine has “European future”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that Russia was in danger of being “destroyed” by increasing sanctions, while Ukraine had a “European future”.

Ursula van der LeyenPhoto: European Commission

“Russia will be plunged into economic, financial and technological collapse as Ukraine moves towards a European future,” Van der Leyen told a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky.

“Your struggle is also our struggle. I am with you in Kiev today, I have a very strong message to send: the EU is with you. We are with you,” he added.

Van der Leyen condemned the massacre of civilians in Pucha, accusing Ukraine of occupying a small town northwest of the Ukrainian capital.

“Our humanity was shattered in Pucha,” he said, describing the attack on a station in the East Kramatorsk area about 50 people as “horrible” just hours ago.

“We are mobilizing economic power to pay a very high price for Russian President (Vladimir) Putin,” he said.

For his part, Zhelensky said that it was “not enough” when he was “personally grateful” to van der Leyen for five rounds of EU sanctions.

Ursula van der Leyen, accompanied by EU Foreign Minister Joseph Borrell and Slovak Prime Minister Edward Heger, visited Pucha on Friday, a symbol of the war’s atrocities in Ukraine.

The three leaders went to see the mass graves dug in the city to bury the dozens of civilians killed by the Russians.

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