Russia criticized the European Union for participating in a summit with Ukraine in Kyiv on Friday, where members pledged a new round of sanctions against the Kremlin.
The bloc's support for Ukraine only serves the “hegemonic aspirations” of the US and NATO, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Saturday, when asked for Moscow's response to the summit. Zakharova said attendees are seeking to weaken Russia.
EU leaders at the event in Kyiv announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, and also discussed Ukraine's bid for EU membership. It was the first such summit to take place in Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade the country.
Zakharova blamed the bloc for “promising” EU membership and violating its own standard requirements for European candidacy.
What participants said about the summit: European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen said that the bloc's 10th round of sanctions will target Russian trade and technology sectors fueling the war in Ukraine.
The EU also pledged an additional $27 million to support Ukraine's de-mining of liberated territories that were temporarily occupied by Russian forces. The EU's top diplomat said the alliance's priority was "protecting civilians and their livelihood."
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is eyeing a fast-tracked admission into the EU, the process is complicated and lengthy, and it is likely to take years if Ukraine is ultimately admitted.