Remarks by Commissioner Kyriakides during her visit in Ukraine
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to share a message with the Ukrainian people: You are in our thoughts every day. The unthinkable brutality you have been suffering from since the Russian invasion began nearly 5 months ago continue to shock us.
I am here – first and foremost – to send a very clear message: so that Ukraine and its people know that the EU will continue to support you in every possible way and for as long as it takes.
I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Minister Liashko for inviting me to Ukraine today and for his extraordinary resilience and leadership in the most difficult of circumstances.
What I saw today in the healthcare facilities I visited was truly humbling. The commitment and the self-sacrifice of all the staff. The solidarity, and admirable spirit of all the citizens and patients to withstand the aggression and protect their country.
Just now, we took another historic step in deepening the partnership between the EU and Ukraine, by signing an agreement of association for Ukraine's participation in the EU4Health programme. This allows for Ukraine's participation to EU funding in the area of health.
This is another clear signal of our commitment to continue supporting Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Your healthcare system, doctors and nurses, civilians and patients, have been put under unimaginable pressure since the beginning of this war.
With this association agreement, we want to ensure that Ukraine can access financial support as quickly as possible to respond to immediate needs of its healthcare system and also support long-term reconstruction.
We are doing everything we can to help those in need of urgent medical care. So far, we have transferred almost 800 patients through our EU solidarity mechanism.
We are now in the process of setting up three medical hubs in neighbouring countries so we can transport more patients.
With the escalation of the Russian invasion, we are sadly seeing an increased number of patients with war related wounds. I am deeply touched by what I have seen.
Together with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, we are also looking for ways to evacuate patients, but also to bring them back home when they have finished their treatment. We need to further support Ukraine with rehabilitation, prosthetics and technical ssistance.
Last but not least, I know that this war is causing great psychological and mental health damage. We have mobilised funds from the EU4Health programme to give psychological support to those who have left Ukraine, and we will continue to do so.
Ladies and gentlemen, Minister,
Thank you once again for your invitation. Your heroism and the heroism of the Ukrainian people is inspirational for all of us.
I hope that the EU4Health association agreement will bring us even closer together.