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The president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, arrived in kyiv on September 15 to hold a meeting with President Volodímir Zelenski to advance the country’s integration plans to the European Union (EU). The president suffered a traffic accident just hours before the meeting, although he did not suffer serious injuries, his spokesperson reported. In other news, the central city of Kryvyi Rih is struggling to contain flooding after Russian missiles hit the city’s dam.
Ukraine has not given up on its goal of becoming a member country of the European Union, despite at the same time facing a war launched by Russia for more than six months.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, arrived in kyiv on September 15 to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials in order to discuss the steps to follow in Ukraine’s accession to the bloc. The nation gained EU candidate status last June.
“For my third visit to kyiv, since the war started, a lot has changed. Ukraine is now a candidate for the European Union. I will discuss with President Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shymal how to continue to bring our economies and our citizens closer together, as Ukraine moves towards accession, ”Von der Leyen posted on his social networks after his arrival in the Ukrainian capital.
The president attended the meeting despite the fact that hours before he suffered a traffic accident, after the vehicle in which he was traveling collided with another car. “The president was examined by a doctor, no serious injuries were found,” said his spokeswoman, Serhii Nykyforov, adding that the incident will be investigated.
Dear Volodymyr @ZelenskyyUAthank you so much for the award of the First Class of the Order of Yaroslav the Wise.
This is a great honour.
I accept it in the name of all EU citizens.
And as a symbol of our strong bond. pic.twitter.com/6W8JPLTao3
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) September 15, 2022
During the meeting, von der Leyen received from Zelensky the First Class award of the Order of Yaroslav the Wise. “This is a great honor. I accept it on behalf of all EU citizens and as a symbol of our strong bond,” the diplomatic leader said.
One of the fundamental steps for the process of Ukraine’s integration into the European Union is the reconstruction after the war, which is not over yet. A cause for which at least 350,000 million dollars will be necessary, according to kyiv estimates taken up this Thursday by the German Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, during a summit of G7 ministers.
“A lot of money is needed. More money than can only come from public coffers (…) We need an instrument, a fund, in a way that creates a solid and stable opportunity for companies to invest,” Habeck said.
The official added that such a global fund could gather help from private investors, banks and hedge funds.
The Ukrainian territory also faces the occupation of the Russian Army that currently controls a fifth of the country. In recent weeks, local forces have dealt significant blows to the invading troops and recaptured dozens of towns and cities.
Zelenski affirmed on the night of Wednesday, September 14, that before the advance of his soldiers “almost the entire Kharkiv region is unoccupied”. It is a province in the northeast of the country, which, due to its geographical location, is key to the possible achievements of the Ukrainian military in its drive to recover the great Donbass region, where Moscow has concentrated most of its assault.
Kryvyi Rih struggles to stop flooding after Russian attacks on its water system
Kryvyi Rih, the largest city in central Ukraine and the birthplace of President Zelensky, is struggling to contain major flooding.
The city was hit by eight Russian cruise missiles that destroyed the water pumping station and caused the Inhulets River to breach a dam, authorities said.
“The water pumping station was destroyed. The river broke the dam and overflowed. Residential buildings are only a few meters from the river,” said Ukrainian lawmaker Inna Sovsun.
At least 112 houses are flooded. However, the authorities are rushing to repair the dam on the Inhulets river, so “the floods are receding” and the water levels “have dropped considerably,” said the head of the Krivyi Rih military administration, Oleksandr Vilkul.
Meanwhile, fighting continues in different parts of the country. The Ukrainian Army claimed the destruction of dozens of Russian equipment on the route to Bakhmut, in the east, belonging to the Donetsk oblast.
The UK Ministry of Defense, which monitors the conflict, said Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their control of newly liberated areas of Kharkiv Oblast.
Meanwhile, Russian troops are trying to strengthen their defense positions in the Donetsk and Zaporizhia regions in the south, where the largest nuclear plant in Europe is located and which has raised alarm over the clashes in its vicinity.
With Reuters, AFP and local media