‘We will help you rebuild your cities,’ European Parliament president tells Ukrainians
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola pledged to ramp up assistance to Ukraine and discussed “further-reaching” sanctions on Russia while on a visit to Kyiv on Friday in which she met with Ukrainian leaders.
“We will help you rebuild your cities and your towns,” Metsola said at a press conference alongside the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk. “We have already provided financial, military and humanitarian assistance — this will continue and it will increase.”
“We will take care of the families who have been forced to flee … until the day they can safely return to their homes,” she said.
Metsola said she had also met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and the two spoke about the need for “more and further-reaching” sanctions on Moscow. European leaders have approved four rounds of sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, but remain divided on imposing an energy embargo on Moscow and have rejected Kyiv’s calls for a no-fly zone.
Metsola announced the surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital on Twitter just hours before arriving in Kyiv. She said she had decided to go after receiving an invitation from Stefanchuk.
The Maltese politician, who is part of the center-right European People’s Party and was elected as head of the Parliament in January, is the first leader of a major EU institution to visit Ukraine since the Russian assault began on February 24.
Last month, three of central Europe’s prime ministers — Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki, the Czech Republic’s Petr Fiala and Slovenia’s Janez Janša — traveled to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Shmyhal. In the run-up to the visit, Zelenskyy invited other world leaders to come, writing on social media that he wanted “all friends of Ukraine to visit Kyiv.”
Metsola also met with representatives of political groups and addressed an extraordinary session of the Ukrainian parliament — the Verkhovna Rada — during the visit, a spokesperson confirmed.