Written by 3:57 pm European Union

German minister promises weapons and EU accession help on surprise Ukraine trip

Jan 10 (Reuters) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a surprise visit to the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv near the Russian border on Tuesday, promising more weapons as well as “concrete offers” to help the country’s accession to the European Union.

In a statement ahead of a meeting with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Baerbock expressed Germany’s support and solidarity with Ukrainians living through Russia’s invasion and harsh winter conditions.

“This city is a symbol of the absolute insanity of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and of the endless suffering that people, especially here in the east of the country, are confronted with every day,” she said.

After Germany last week promised to send Marder fighting vehicles to Ukraine as part of stepped up military support, Baerbock promised more weapons, without specifying which ones.

She also said it was important not to lose sight of Ukraine’s place in Europe and its desire to join the EU.

“That is why I would also like to talk about the progress made in the accession process,” she said.

“We as the government want to make very concrete offers to Ukraine in order to make progress in strengthening the rule of law, independent institutions and the fight against corruption, as well as in aligning with EU standards.”

Reporting by Alexander Ratz; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Paul Carrel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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