Four European leaders became the latest heads of state to visit Ukraine Thursday as it continues to fend off Russian forces that have recently made significant advances in the country’s southern and eastern regions.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis arrived in Kyiv amid the country’s bid for E.U. candidate status and a request from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for more arms. “We all four support providing Ukraine E.U. candidacy status,” Macron said after a joint meeting with Zelensky.
Zelensky has previously criticized France, Germany, and Italy for being restrained in their support for Ukraine. He has also previously accused Macron for trying “in vain” to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Read more: TIME’s Interview with Volodymyr Zelensky
The visit comes as the European Commission weighs as early as Friday whether to recommend granting Ukraine official E.U. candidate status; doing so would require unanimous approval from all 27 E.U. nations. The European Commission is expected to back Ukraine’s bid for E.U. candidate status but experts say it will take years for Ukraine to meet membership criteria.
Below, a list of world leaders who have visited Ukraine since the war began:
French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron
Macron promised Thursday that France would be sending six more truck-mounted artillery guns, the Associated Press reported.
Macron had recently spoken in support of Ukraine’s attempts to secure E.U. candidate status. “I want us to send a clear and positive signal, but we have to build unanimity among E.U. members,” he said Wednesday. But he also added, “If we applied normal rules, we would not grant [E.U. candidate status]. It’s the context of war that makes us consider this move.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Scholz has been outspoken in …read more
Source:: Time – World