European leaders Back Ukraine’s Bid To Apply For EU Membership.
- Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Mario Draghi and Klaus Iohannis gave qualified support for Kyiv’s bid to join the European Union on Thursday.
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EKO HOT BLOG reports that leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania on Thursday, pledged to back Ukraine’s bid to apply for EU membership after travelling to Kyiv and meeting president Volodymyr Zelensky to show support in the face of Russia’s invasion.
“Europe is at your side and will stay there for as long as it takes,” French President Emmanuel Macron told Zelensky at a news conference, condemning Russia for “war, destruction and chaos” and the “barbarity” committed in the Kyiv suburb of Irpin.
In the first such visit to the Ukrainian capital since Russia unleashed its invasion, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Mario Draghi and Romania’s Klaus Iohannis also gave qualified support for Kyiv’s bid to join the European Union on Thursday.
After earlier batting away suggestions of being soft on Russia, Macron said the West would not demand any concessions from Ukraine and that the circumstances of peace talks would be on Kyiv’s terms.
Zelensky, who has not left Ukraine since the invasion and was dressed in a khaki t-shirt, has voiced gratitude for the West’s help, though his administration also previously berated allies for dragging their feet on sanctions and arms supplies.
“My colleagues and I came here to Kyiv today with a clear message: ‘Ukraine belongs to the European family,’” Scholz said, while Macron said, “We all four support the immediate EU candidate status” for Ukraine.
On his part, Draghi said: “The most important message of our visit is that Italy wants Ukraine in the EU.”
And it wants Ukraine to have candidate status and will support this position at the next European Council.”
During the talks, Zelensky pressed for a seventh EU sanctions package that includes an embargo on Russian gas. The visit coincided with Russia reducing supplies via its Nord Stream pipeline in what Berlin saw as a political move.
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Scholz said Germany would support Ukraine’s path to EU membership – a step that has caused some misgivings in the 27-member bloc. But he also said requirements on democracy and rule of law would need to be complied with.
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