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 Volodymyr Zelensky’s request for additional arms. “We all four support providing Ukraine E.U. candidacy status,” Macron said after a joint meeting with Zelensky.
Zelensky had previously attacked France, Germany, Italy and Italy for their inflexible support of Ukraine. He has also previously accused Macron for trying “in vain” to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Continue reading: TIME’s Interview with Volodymyr Zelensky
As the European Commission considers whether or not to grant Ukraine an official E.U., this visit will be made as it is already Friday. The candidate status is subject to unanimous approval by all 27 E.U. nations. The European Commission is expected to back Ukraine’s bid for E.U. Although Ukraine is currently a candidate for the E.U., experts warn that it could take many years before Ukraine can meet all of its membership requirements.
Here is a listing of the world’s top leaders that have visited Ukraine in the years since the conflict began.
Emmanuel Macron, French Prime Minister
According to the Associated Press, Macron said Thursday that France would send six additional truck-mounted artillery guns.
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 his support for Ukraine’s E.U. candidate status bid. “We came to #Kyiv today with a clear message: Ukraine belongs to the European family. Germany wants a positive decision in favor of Ukraine as a #EU candidate country,” he tweeted Thursday.
Germany was skeptical about the E.U. Ukraine should be granted membership. “Ukraine is an integral part of Europe, I wish that we will find a strong and convincing answer to your desire to join—even if there can be no shortcut on the way to full E.U. membership,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in May.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi
“The biggest message we want to send in this trip is that Italy wants Ukraine in the E.U.,” Draghi said Thursday, according to Bloomberg News. “Italy, France, and Germany are here to give unconditional support to Ukraine.”
Continue reading: The Ukraine War Is Becoming Putin’s Vietnam
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister made an unexpected visit to Kyiv AprilDespite promises for more military assistance. “The U.K. will send more defensive weapons to Ukraine and will work with G7 partners to target every pillar of the Russian economy to ensure Putin fails,” he tweetedShortly after, the visit was completed.
Justin Trudeau is Canada’s Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau was the Canadian Prime Minster and visited Ukraine May 8, where he discussed international assistance in humanitarian, financial and military matters. “As Russia continues its ongoing illegal and unjustifiable war against Ukraine, Canada will continue to be there to support Ukraine and its people,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Others world leaders have visited Ukraine
On Mar. 1, the prime ministers from Slovenia, Czech Republic and Poland were among the first Western leaders who visited Ukraine. 15. The presidents of Estonia and Latvia visited Kyiv in April. 13 meet with Zelensky, to call for international support and to denounce Russia. “This is not war, this is terrorism,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said at a news conference, Reuters reported.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to not visit Ukraine since the war broke out has drawn scrutiny. Last month, Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States made an unexpected visit. Security concerns have been cited by the White House as the primary deterrent. Wednesday saw the U.S. announce an increase of $1 billion for military aid.
Continue reading: Ukraine Won’t Get Key Weapons From Biden’s Latest $1 Billion Aid Package For Months
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