Brussels 14.06.2022 The European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen visited Israel on her Middle East trip including Palestine, Joradan and Egypt.
“Today, I would like to focus briefly on three of these challenges” von der Leyen said, while addressing the audience at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “The first is the challenge stemming from autocracies, the second is climate change, and the third is democratic backsliding. The most direct of these challenges comes from authoritarian regimes outside our borders. And indeed, what we witness in these days, Russia’s aggression of Ukraine, is a war against democracy itself.”
“It is a war against the idea that the people of Ukraine can take sovereign decisions about their own future. Year after year, Ukraine’s diverse and vibrant civil society has pushed for positive change and has strengthened the country’s democratic institutions. This is exactly what the Kremlin is fighting against” the president of the Commission continued.
“It could not be more symbolic that the first Russian bombs on Kyiv fell right by the gate of a Holocaust memorial and that the Russian propaganda is built on the abominable rhetoric of ‘denazification’ against a democratic Ukraine. We see with great worry the age-old threat of scapegoating the Jewish people in times of war. I know that Israel has helped Ukraine with tonnes of humanitarian aid and a field hospital, and you have welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to your land” von der Leyen has underscored.