"Ukraine's European aspirations must and should be supported" - Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, following a visit by the Head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, his Holiness Philaret.

"We are very pleased and honoured to welcome His Holiness Patriarch Philaret, spiritual leader of Ukraine," said Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, EPP Group Vice-Chair for Foreign Affairs, Standing Rapporteur on Ukraine and host of the Patriarch's visit to Brussels for the EPP Group.

"His Holiness delivered a very powerful message to EU Institutions, highlighting that Ukraine is a peace-loving nation and that Ukrainians are attached to their freedom and to European values. He also made clear that the Kyiv Patriarchate supports Ukraine's European aspirations. A European Ukraine could help to bring democracy to Moscow one day as well. Ukraine's European aspirations must and should be supported, including through immediate action aimed at helping Ukraine to restore full control over its border with Russia. This support should also consist of a wider strategy, encompassing financial help from the EU and a visa-free regime," he added.

During his visit, supported by both the EPP Party and the Group, Patriarch Philaret met, inter alia, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Christos Stylianides and NATO Deputy Secretary-General, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. He also held an exchange of views at the joint meeting of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee and Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Elmar Brok, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Andrej Plenković, Chairman of the Delegation.

"Ukraine, just as any other nation, has the right to choose its future orientation. The European Parliament will support the values of freedom and democracy and work together with Ukrainian partners on its European path," said Elmar Brok. Andrej Plenković concluded by saying that the Parliamentary Association Committee will provide expertise and oversight in the implementation of the Association Agreement and newly-adopted Association Agenda, with the emphasis on the fight against corruption.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 27 Member States

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