The leaders of the three largest countries in the European Union, Germany, France and Italy, are expected in Kyiv on Thursday to show their support for Ukraine, as it is struggling to withstand a relentless attack by Russia.
The visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has taken weeks for the three men to try to overcome criticism within Ukraine over their response to the war.
An impending trip, which has not been announced for security reasons, comes a day before the European Commission is due to make a recommendation on Ukraine’s status as an EU candidate, something that the largest European nations have become lukewarm about.
Macron said in a speech in Romania on Wednesday that it was time for Europe to reassure Ukraine of its EU ambitions.
“We are at a point where we need to send a clear political signal, to us Europeans, towards Ukraine and its people when there is heroic resistance,” he said without giving further details.
Kyiv has criticized France, Germany and, to a lesser extent, Italy for alleged foothold in their support for Ukraine, accusing them of being late in delivering weapons and putting their own prosperity ahead of Ukraine’s freedom and security.
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told the German newspaper Bild this week that he was worried that the three leaders would pressure Kyiv to accept a peace deal favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“They will say that we need to end the war that is causing food and economic problems… that we need to save Putin’s face,” he said, referring to Macron’s remarks this month that it was important not to humiliate the Russian leader. .
Draghi addressed these concerns and said on Tuesday that it was important that peace talks could begin as soon as possible, but added that they must be “on terms that Ukraine deems acceptable”.
Zelenskyy is expected to pressure his visitors to send more weapons to help his hard-line army resist the Russian invasion.
Ukraine has been particularly critical of Germany’s military aid, and its ambassador to Berlin, Andrij Melnyk, told German broadcaster NTV that he expected Scholz to deliver heavy weapons that had long been promised but not yet delivered.
Scholz has denied allegations that he withheld much-needed military support, saying it was one of Ukraine’s biggest military and financial backers and that it would take time to train Ukrainian troops in using the sophisticated artillery systems it offers.
German, French and Italian leaders expect to come to Kyiv to signal solidarity – SABC News
Source link German, French and Italian leaders expect to come to Kyiv to signal solidarity – SABC News