A train to Kyiv. French President Emmanuel Macron is on his way to the Ukrainian capital on Thursday for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. His arrival has been awaited for several weeks, both by his supporters in France and by Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president. After a visit to Romania and Moldova, Emmanuel Macron will arrive in Ukraine this morning by train.
“I think we are at a time when we need to send clear political signals, we European Union, with regard to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in a context where they have been resisting heroically for several months” , he said on Wednesday, when asked about a possible trip to kyiv.
As shown in photos published by Italian and German media, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi are also on board this night train to kyiv. This trip is a first for the leaders of the three main countries of the European Union since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
First trip to Ukraine since February 8
Emmanuel Macron had already visited kyiv on February 8, after a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, but had not returned there since.
Questioned on the subject on March 15, the President of the Republic affirmed “not to exclude” going to Moscow or kyiv on the subject of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, but considered that the “conditions were not met” to carry out these trips “in the coming days”. Three months after this declaration, they seem to be fulfilled.
Especially since between Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelensky, relations have sometimes been strained since the start of the conflict. The Head of State had for example refused to use the word “genocide” about the abuses of the Russian army, and Zelensky had invited him to see it by coming to Ukraine.
“He is welcome no matter when”
But the President of the Republic has been under pressure in recent weeks, particularly in France, to organize a visit. And Ukraine had renewed its invitation through the voice of its Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“He is welcome no matter when. It would be good for Mr. Macron to come during the French EU presidency, and the best would be for him to come with other arms deliveries for Ukraine, here is the the most precious help we can receive from France”, declared Dmytro Kouleba on May 31.