EU trade commissioner offers Ukraine 'unwavering support'

European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis presents a review of trade and sustainable development, in Brussels, Belgium June 22, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman

KYIV, Nov 18 (Reuters) - European Union trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis offered Ukraine the 27-nation bloc's "unwavering support" on Friday and condemned Russia's "brutal war" on its neighbour during a visit to Kyiv.

During talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, he said he had discussed the "next steps" to provide Kyiv with macro-financial assistance in 20223 and Ukraine's closer integration with the EU's internal market.

"I reaffirmed (the) EU's solidarity with #Ukraine as Russia continues its brutal war, killing Ukrainian citizens and destroying infrastructure," Dombrovskis, one of three executive vice presidents among the EU's 27 commissioners, wrote on Twitter.

"I reiterated (the) EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine," he added.

Shmyhal confirmed Kyiv expected to receive 2.5 billion euros of funding from the EU next week, and said Ukraine was counting on receiving the first funds under the EU's 18-billion-euro Macro-Financial Assistance Plus programme in January.

He and Zelenskiy both thanked Dombrovskis for the EU's support during the war against Russia.

The EU has imposed several rounds of new sanctions on Moscow since Russia's Feb.24 invasion in addition to the financial assistance it has provided.

Senior EU officials including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and a number of leaders of EU member states, have also shown solidarity with Ukraine by visiting Kyiv since the start of the war.

EU crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic also said on Thursday the bloc would also provide temporary cold-weather shelter, generators and electricity grid-repair kits for Ukraine to help it through winter following Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

Reporting by Kyiv newsroom, Editing by Timothy Heritage

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.