French, German, Italian Leaders Visit Kyiv In Show of Collective European Support

The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania arrived in Kyiv on Thursday in a show of collective European support for Ukraine as it tries to resist Russia’s invasion, marking the highest-profile visit to Ukraine’s capital since Russia invaded its neighbor.

The French president’s office said President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Premier Mario Draghi had traveled to Kyiv together, and that Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will join them there.

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After getting off the train in Kyiv, Macron said they would visit sites where attacks occurred.
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“It is an important moment,” he said. “It is a message of European unity toward Ukrainians.”

Macron said they will speak with Ukrainian officials about “both the present and the future.”

The European leaders are to meet with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The economies of France, Germany and Italy are the three largest in the EU.

The leaders arrived on a special overnight train provided by the Ukrainian authorities, and held long meetings in the dining car after midnight to align their positions ahead of meeting with Zelenskyy.

The visit carries heavy symbolic weight given that the three Western European powers have often faced criticism for not providing Ukraine with the scale of weapons that Zelenskyy has been begging them for, and for their willingness to keep speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin — something Baltic and Central European leaders have found unacceptable.

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Hopes were high among Ukrainians that the visit could mark a turning point by opening the way to significant new arms supplies.

The visit comes as EU leaders prepare to make a decision June 23-24 on Ukraine’s request to become a candidate for EU membership, and …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

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