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French, German and Italian leaders went to Kiev

French, German and Italian leaders went to Kiev

PARIS – French presidency said on Thursday that French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi would travel to Kiev.

European leaders are expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in preparation for a key summit of European Union leaders in Brussels next week and a NATO summit in Madrid on 29-30 June. France currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

The French Presidency did not provide any further details.

Macron said on Tuesday on his way to Ukraine’s neighbors, Romania and Moldova that a “support message” should be sent to Ukraine before EU heads of state and government “must make an important decision” at a meeting in Brussels. Leaders are ready to consider Ukraine’s application for EU candidate status.

“We are at a time when we need to send clear political signals – we Europeans are the European Union – Ukraine and the Ukrainians,” he said.

Macron is deeply involved in diplomatic efforts to enforce a ceasefire in Ukraine that would allow future peace talks.

Since Putin launched the invasion in late February, he has held regular talks with Zelenysky and spoken several times by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.