Ukraine could displace China as the EU’s top “supplier of raw materials and components for these technologies of the future for Europe,

” said Maroš Šefčovič. The European Commission vice president, said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine. “You can do better than China. I understand [Ukraine’s] President, Prime Minister and your business leaders who want to ensure that Ukraine builds the entire vertically integrated supply chain around critical raw materials and added value stays in Ukraine as much as possible.”

The photo opportunity at the open pit mine today came as Šefčovič prepares to sign the EU-Ukraine strategic partnership on raw materials and batteries in Kyiv today. Parallel to the signing of the partnership, an all-day forum will be held:

 “Conference on Critical Raw Materials and Batteries.” Šefčovič, who held the commission’s Energy portfolio for five years, said that: “Securing a sustainable supply of raw materials is an essential prerequisite for delivering on green and digital transition objectives.” With batteries and energy storage seen as key technologies for the 2020s, the EU is investing billions of euros to develop its own production capacity to avoid dependence on China.