BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union stands by Ukraine, the head of the bloc’s execuive said on Friday in announcing first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to the former Soviet republic through COVAX, a global network for jab distribution.
“Ukraine is a close neighbour, friend & key partner of the EU. We stand by Ukraine’s side and will continue to support its people in all possible ways,” said European Commission head, Ursula von der Leyen, adding the bloc was a lead COVAX donor.
That comes as Western powers step up pressure on Russia to pull back troops recently amassed on its border with Ukraine after Moscow already annexed Crimea from Kiyv in 2014 and went on to back rebels in Ukraine’s industrial east.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Marine Strauss)