The EU will resume its diplomatic presence in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, after temporarily moving it to Poland after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the bloc announced on late Friday (8 April).

Head of the EU delegation in Ukraine, Matti Maasikas, travelled back to Ukraine joined by two EU top officials visiting the country on Friday and will remain in Kyiv to reopen the delegation and assess conditions for staff to return, the EU’s diplomatic service (EEAS) said.

The remaining staff of the EU’s delegation was evacuated from Ukraine’s capital to the Polish city Rzeszów shortly after Russia’s invasion, which has been hosting a large part of Kyiv’s diplomatic corps. Others had been moved to the western city of Lviv.

Poland’s Bartosz Cichocki has been the only remaining EU ambassador in Kyiv, but some member states have started to gradually send staff back.

Speaking in Kyiv alongside Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said the move would enhance the bloc’s interactions with the Ukrainian government and help support Ukrainian citizens.

“Our delegation is coming back, the EU is coming back to Kyiv, and I am sure that other Delegations and embassies from member states will follow,” Borrell said.

“We have witnessed first-hand the ability of the Ukrainian administration to ensure the effective and full functioning of the state and government structures, despite very difficult circumstances,” he said.

“Ukraine is not a country invaded, dominated. There is still a government which receives people from outside, and you can travel to Kyiv,” the EU’s chief diplomat added.

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