Ukraine: EU leaders in Irpin

Brussels 16.06.2022 The leaders of Germany, France and Italy – all criticized in the past by Kyiv for support viewed as too cautious – made a joint visit to Ukraine, touring a town of Irpin devastated by Russia’s invasion.

“It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians,” French President Emmanuel Macron said after pulling into Kyiv on an overnight train along with Germany’s Olaf Scholz and Italy’s Mario Draghi. They were also joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy visited Kyiv on Thursday in a show of European support for Ukraine, as Russia presses its brutal offensive in the east of the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in the Ukrainian capital by train from Poland, according to an AFP reporter travelling with them.

Asked by a journalist why he had come to Ukraine, Macron said: “For a message of European unity.”

Scholz told German daily Bild that they “want to show not only solidarity, but also assure that the help that we’re organising — financial, humanitarian, but also, when it comes to weapons — will continue”.

“And that we will continue it as long as it is necessary for Ukraine’s fight” against Moscow, he said.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24 invasion.

They are due to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, at a time when Kyiv is pushing to be given official candidate status to join the EU.

France which holds the rotating presidency of the EU until the end of this month — Germany and Italy view Ukraine’s aspirations to join the bloc favourably.

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