Macron, Schulz and Draghi in Kyiv to convey a message of support from Europe
On his arrival in the Ukrainian capital, Macron said that French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kyiv on Thursday to convey “the message of European unity to Ukrainians.”
In addition to the three European leaders, the Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, also arrived in Kyiv, who will also take part in a meeting with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Macron said, in a brief statement, that this trip is “a message of European unity to Ukrainians, supporting talk about the present and the future, because we know that the next few weeks will be very difficult.”
For his part, Olaf Schultz told the German press, prior to his arrival in Kyiv, that the purpose of his visit was to ensure solidarity and continued support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.
“But we want not only to show solidarity, we also want to ensure the continuation of the assistance that we organize – financial, humanitarian, and also weapons. And that we will continue to do so as long as it is necessary for the struggle for Ukraine’s independence,” he said.
Macron, Schulze and Draghi traveled together overnight on a special train that left an unidentified station in Poland, according to photos published by German and Italian media.
Italian news agency ANSA reported that the leaders traveled in their own vehicle, but held a meeting of about two hours to prepare for their meeting with the Ukrainian president.
Italian media highlighted the tight security measures, both on the convoy and upon its arrival in Kyiv, which occupied about 300 members of the Ukrainian army.
This trip comes at a crucial moment, a few days before the European Council on June 23-24, when Ukraine is expecting a very strong symbolic gesture, supported by this country’s candidacy to join the European Union.
The Élysée Palace insisted that a “balance between Ukraine’s aspirations” and those of the EU candidate countries already involved in the negotiations should be found, and that “there is no need to destabilize or fragment the EU”.
“Writer. Analyst. Avid travel maven. Devoted twitter guru. Unapologetic pop culture expert. General zombie enthusiast.”