“It is a message of European unity to Ukrainian men and women, a message of support”, Emmanuel Macron, getting off the train, just arrived at the Kyiv station, was fired Thursday, June 16, at 9:30 a.m. local time. The head of state had just traveled for ten hours accompanied by German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, and found the head of the Italian Council, Mario Draghi, the night before at the Polish border. The three leaders, in casual attire, barely proceeded to gather for about two hours in the car hall of the French president, in a very short time. Orient Express.
It was about immortalizing the moment and preparing for a quick visit – one day, watch in hand – as expected in the Ukrainian capital. With one goal: to finally show their solidarity at once with a country that has been resisting for nearly four months the invasion launched by Russia led by Vladimir Putin. On the pier, amidst armed commandos, the delegation was received by the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Integration, Olga Stefanichina.
The visit, the subject of a thousand unconfirmed rumors since the weekend, allows first of all to make up for some missed opportunities, for some and for others. For weeks, Ukrainian officials have been urging the head of state to come before the end of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, on June 30. But he is temporary, officially for electoral reasons, also eager to show himself ” useful “ Through this offset with a strong symbolic value.
As for Chancellor Schultz, he delayed making the trip due to recurring tensions between Berlin and Kiev. As a result, since the conflict began, Mr Macron and his traveling companions have been preceded in the Ukrainian capital by most of their continental counterparts, including Britain’s Boris Johnson, magnate Andre Duda and the heads of European Union institutions. It became difficult for all of them to come alone, at this late hour.
Trio of “Old Europe”
Upon arrival, the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis, who came by another route, joined his counterparts in Kyiv, only to give a touch of Central Europe to the trio of “Old Europe”. Together they had first Heading to Irbin, one of the suburban towns of Kyiv, where the Russian army committed atrocities against civilians, before withdrawing, unsuccessfully, at the end of March to capture the capital. President Volodymyr Zelensky was to be with them during the tribute to the victims of the conflict. A little later, Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to meet with French officials who were sent to Kyiv to investigate the war crimes of which the Russian army is accused.
You have 68.72% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.