German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on a special train on Thursday morning. There they want to talk to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about more support for the country attacked by Russia and about Ukraine’s desire to join the European Union.
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Peter Bauer (text), Christian Öser (image), Birgit Samer (video), Michaela Pichler (editing), all ORF.at
Zelenskyy will represent the interests of his war-torn country at the G-7 and NATO summits in late June. He gratefully accepted invitations to key meetings, Zelenskyy said on Twitter late on Wednesday. Initially, it was unclear whether the Ukrainian head of state would leave his country for this or whether the video would be used as in other meetings. Overall, Zelenskyy saw great progress in international support for his country, as he said in his video speech that night.
On the other hand, the military situation – especially in eastern Ukraine – remained extremely tense. “The fierce battle for the Luhansk region continues,” said Ukrainian commander-in-chief Valery Zalushny. Russian troops attacked there from nine directions at once, he wrote on Facebook. The EU Commission wants to make its recommendation in Brussels on Thursday on whether Ukraine will be granted candidate country status.
many international contacts
In his video of the evening, Zelenskyi listed all of Wednesday’s international contacts: phone calls with US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a meeting with the heads of government of Albania and Montenegro, Edi Rama and Dritan. Abazovic. Zelenskyy said the U.S.-led Ukrainian contact group meeting on Wednesday in Brussels sent the signal that arms deliveries would be stabilized.
After the phone call with Zelenskyy, Biden announced another $1 billion in weapons deliveries. In addition, the United States provided an additional $225 million (about €217 million) in humanitarian assistance to the country.
Zelensky: Invited by Scholz to the G-7
Zelenskyy said that Scholz had invited him to the group of seven major Western industrial nations. The invitation to join NATO came from Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The G-7 meeting is scheduled to take place June 26-28 at the luxury alpine hotel Schloss Elmau in Bavaria. In addition to the US and Germany, the G-7 countries also include Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada. The EU is also represented at all meetings.
Immediately afterwards, the NATO summit will begin in the Spanish capital of Madrid, which will mainly focus on strengthening the eastern flank against Russia. When asked if Zelenskyy would come to Madrid, Stoltenberg said: “He is welcome to come in person. If that is not possible for him, he will speak to us via video conference.”
Debate: What could lead Russia to peace?
The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has lasted more than three months. Initial peace talks froze. How should the West’s reactions be assessed so far? What chances does diplomacy currently have? What could lead Russia to peace?
Discuss with debate.ORF.at!