• 4 a.m.: Kyiv hosts EU summit amid Russian offensive

Candidate for EU membership, Ukraine is hosting a summit on Friday with European representatives, "a strong symbol" according to the Commission of the support of the Twenty-Seven "in the face of the unjustified aggression" of Russia, which recently regained ground to the east.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in kyiv on Thursday, accompanied by the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell and around fifteen European commissioners.

"Good to be back in kyiv, my fourth time since the Russian invasion and this time with my team of stewards," she tweeted.

"We are here together to show that the EU stands firmly with Ukraine."

Good to be back in Kyiv, my 4th time since Russia's invasion.

This time, with my team of Commissioners.

We are here together to show that the EU stands by Ukraine as firmly as ever.

And to deepen further our support and cooperation.


— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 2, 2023

The President of the European Council Charles Michel is also expected, for discussions which will address in particular the steps for Ukraine's accession to the EU, a difficult process that kyiv intends to accelerate.

  • 12:12 a.m.: Germany approves sending Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

The German government has approved the delivery of Leopard 1 tanks from industrial stocks to Ukraine, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday, adding that Berlin was discussing with Qatar the purchase of 15 Gepard tanks.

Citing government sources, the newspaper said the Leopard tanks could be sent to Ukraine as soon as the vehicles are operational.

The Rheinmetall and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) group wants to recondition dozens of Leopard 1 tanks in order to offer Kyiv to buy them, it is added.

According to the newspaper, several German representatives have started discussions with the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a possible purchase of 15 Gepard tanks that Doha had procured ahead of the 2022 Football World Cup in order to secure its stadiums.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that "the Gepards have demonstrated their effectiveness in the war in Ukraine. If we could get more from our partners, it would definitely help the Ukrainians", according to comments reported by the newspaper.

With AFP and Reuters

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