CPP Members in Australia Celebrate 71st Anniversary of the CPP | WATCH LIVE: 71st Anniversary of the Establishment of the Cambodian People's Party | BREAKING NEWS: Covid-19 outbreak re-emerges in Cambodia | No More Distinction Between Vaccination Cards | BREAKING NEWS: Cambodia Releases Daily Covid-19 Statistics 29 June 2022 | ASEAN Special Envoy Visits Myanmar Again |

Scholz, Macron and Draghi visit war-torn Irpin after criticism

    Aa |   aA

INTERNATIONAL: The leaders of Germany, France and Italy - all criticised in the past by Kyiv for support viewed as too cautious - made a joint visit on Thursday (June 16) to show solidarity with Ukraine, where officials pleaded for more Western arms. France's Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Olaf Scholz, Italy's Mario Draghi and Romania's Klaus Iohannis were shown gutted, burnt-out buildings.

Air raid sirens blared in Kyiv as the visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Olaf Scholz and Italy's Mario Draghi began, with the leaders touring a nearby town wrecked early in the war.

They were shown the wreckage of a car which Ukraine says was targeted by Russian troops when a mother and children were inside.

Irpin a town northeast of the capital Kyiv was devastated early in the war, where withdrawing Russian forces once left behind bodies littering the streets.

The visit had taken weeks to organise, while the three most powerful EU leaders all fended off criticism over positions described as too deferential to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Still, the move by the three to travel together held strong symbolism at a pivotal moment - a day before the EU's executive commission is expected to recommend pushing forward with Ukraine's bid to join the bloc, which EU leaders are expected to endorse at a summit next week.

Scholz, Macron and Draghi all say they are strong supporters of Ukraine who have taken major practical steps to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy and find weapons to help Kyiv.

But Ukraine has long criticised Scholz over what it regards as Germany's slow delivery of weapons and reluctance to sever economic ties with Moscow, and was furious this month at Macron for saying in an interview that Russia must not be "humiliated".

Italy has also proposed a peace plan, which Ukrainians fear could lead to pressure on them to give up territory.

Ukraine is taking hundreds of casualties a day as the war has entered a brutal attritional phase in the east. Kyiv says it urgently needs more weapons, especially artillery and rockets, to counter Russia's firepower advantage.

After holding talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the leaders signalled that Ukraine should be granted European Union candidate status, a symbolic gesture that would draw Kyiv closer to the economic bloc.

The visit had taken weeks to organise, while the three most powerful EU leaders all fended off criticism over positions described as too deferential to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The leaders, who were joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, toured Irpin, a town northeast of the capital devastated soon after the invasion began on Feb. 24, where withdrawing Russian forces left behind bodies littering the streets.

Scholz, Macron and Draghi all say they are strong supporters of Ukraine who have taken practical steps to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy and find weapons to help Kyiv.

But Ukraine has long criticised Scholz over what it regards as Germany's slow delivery of weapons and reluctance to sever economic ties with Moscow, and was furious this month at Macron for saying in an interview that Russia must not be "humiliated".

PHOTO: GERMAN CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ AND FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON ARRIVING AT KYIV TRAIN STATION / MACRON SAYING THE VISIT IS A MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE UKRAINIANS


Related News