Solz, Macron, Draghi, Johannes call for immediate ‘candidate country status’ in Ukraine

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LAST UPDATE: 18.42

Ukraine should immediately receive the “candidate country” status in the European Union, French President Emanuel Macron said on Thursday from Kyiv, where he met with German Chancellor Olaf Solz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Johannes.

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Macron, during the press conference given by the four leaders together with the Ukrainian president, added that this attitude is supported by others.

“We all support the immediate granting of EU candidate status,” said Macron, who said in a statement that France would step up arms supplies to Ukraine.

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The French president added that together with the leaders of Germany, Italy and Romania, they agreed on a number of steps to show that Ukraine is part of the European family.

He also stressed the need for some kind of communication channel with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

German Chancellor Olaf Solz moved in a similar direction, praising the “heroic” battle of the Ukrainians against Russia.

Soltz noted that Germany has already received 800,000 Ukrainian refugees, while supporting Kyiv both financially and by sending military equipment, reiterating that “we will continue to do so as long as Ukraine needs our support.”

For his part, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Thursday that the main message of his talks in Kyiv with Volodymyr Zelensky and the leaders of France and Germany was that Italy wanted to see Ukraine join the European Union, adding that fully supports investigations into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

“I want to say today that the most important message of my visit is that Italy wants Ukraine in the European Union. And it wants Ukraine to receive candidate status and will support this position at the next European Council,” he said.

“We are at a turning point in our history. The Ukrainian people are defending every day the values ​​of democracy and freedom that underpin our European project, our work. We can not wait. We can not delay this process,” Draghi said.

He added that Italy wanted to end the atrocities in Ukraine and called for peace, but stressed that “any diplomatic solution can not be separated from the will of Kiev.”

Zelensky: Ukraine “ready to work” to become a “full member” of the EU

Ukraine is “ready” to work to become a “full member” of the European Union, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told a news conference in Kyiv with counterparts from Germany, France, Italy and Romania.

“Ukrainians have already won the right to enter this path and gain candidate status,” Zelensky said after meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Solz, French President Emanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Johannes.

The European Union is expected to decide next week whether or not to grant Ukraine candidate status, the first step in a negotiation process that could take years.

Dressed in a khaki T-shirt that he wears in public after the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, Zelensky stressed that granting Ukraine EU candidate status “could enhance freedom in Europe in a historic way.” “.

The Ukrainian president said that the Russian invasion of his country equates to aggression against the whole of Europe and that the more weapons Ukraine receives from the West, the faster it will be able to liberate the Ukrainian-occupied territories.

He said in a press conference that he had discussed with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania the possibility of further sanctions against Russia and post-war reconstruction.

Ukraine is grateful for the deliveries of weapons coming to its aid against the Russian invasion and expects to receive heavy weapons, including modern missile artillery and missile defense systems, the Ukrainian president added.

“Every day of delay or postponement is an opportunity for the Russian military to kill Ukrainians or destroy our cities,” he said. “There is a direct correlation: the more powerful weapons we receive, the faster we can liberate our people, our land.”

“Russian aggression against Ukraine is aggression against the whole of Europe, against the whole of a united Europe, against each and every one of us, against our values,” he said.

Source: Capital

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