Charles Michel travels to Kyiv to meet Zelenskyy-PHOTO

Charles Michel

© APA | Charles Michel

# 19 January 2023 13:20 (UTC +04:00)

Charles Michel is en route to Kyiv on Thursday for meetings with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and members of his government, the European Council president announced in a video filmed on the train to Ukraine, APA reports citing Politico.

Ukrainians “need and deserve our support,” Michel said in the clip posted to Twitter, which he appears to have filmed himself while dressed in a khaki turtleneck sweater and a puffer vest reminiscent of the wartime outfits worn by Zelenskyy. The Council chief added that he would be discussing with the Ukrainians “the concrete measures we can develop in order to make sure they are stronger and more powerful.”

With Michel en route to Kyiv, air raid alerts sounded in the Ukrainian capital.

The visit comes amid increasing pressure from Kyiv on Western governments, particularly Germany, to arm Ukraine with modern tanks.

Michel’s surprise trip also comes just two weeks before European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, with whom the Council chief is believed to have a difficult relationship, is set to travel to Kyiv to attend the next EU-Ukraine summit on February 3.

Michel will arrive in Kyiv in the wake of a deadly helicopter crash that claimed the lives of three members of the Ukrainian government, including Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy, his first deputy Yevhen Yenin and the ministry’s State Secretary Yuriy Lubkovych. In a tweet on Wednesday, Michel remembered Monastyrskiy as “a great friend of the EU.”