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KYIV: EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday she was in Kyiv for meetings with officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, to discuss closer cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union.

“In Kyiv, for my 3rd visit since the start of Russia’s war. So much has changed. Ukraine is now an EU candidate,” von der Leyen said on Twitter.

“I’ll discuss with Zelensky and (Prime Minister) Denys Shmygal how to continue getting our economies and people closer while Ukraine progresses towards accession,” she said.

EU to seek clearance of trade deals, set rules on raw materials

Ukraine gained EU candidacy status in June, a decision that Moscow said was part of efforts to contain Russia internationally.

EU countries have staunchly supported Ukraine since Moscow invaded in February by hitting Russia with waves of economic penalties.

Many members of the bloc have supplied Kyiv with advanced weapons that have helped Ukrainian forces in recent weeks recapture swathes of territory from Russia.

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