EU leaders want immediate candidate status for Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that Germany, France, Italy and Romania are all in favor of granting Ukraine immediate EU-candidate status, following a joint meeting between the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and four EU leaders in Kiev on Thursday.
Macron arrived in Ukraine with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
After the talks concluded, the visiting leaders held a press conference at which they announced the results of the talks and expressed support for Ukraine amid the ongoing military conflict with Russia.
Macron was first to outline that all present were in support of granting Ukraine immediate candidate status to join the EU.
He added that France will deliver six additional long-range Ceasar guns to Ukraine on top of the twelve that have already been delivered.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that he'd come to Ukraine with a clear message – that Ukraine belongs in the European family and that Germany will support a positive decision on Ukraine and Moldova’s EU membership accession.
Italy’s Draghi also expressed support for Ukraine’s candidate status, stating that "We are at a turning point in our history. The Ukrainian people defend every day the values of democracy and freedom that underpin the European project, our project. We cannot wait. We cannot delay this process."
He was speaking on the same day that Zelensky's regime banned two more of Ukraine's opposition parties.
The Italian leader also addressed the destruction Ukraine has endured during this conflict, stating that “they destroyed the nurseries, the playgrounds”. He vowed, however, that Ukraine will be rebuilt with EU help.
Meanwhile, Zelensky urged the visiting leaders to put more pressure on Russia and accept a new, seventh package of sanctions against Moscow, arguing that its aggression is an attack against all of Europe.
The Ukrainian leader also insisted that the more weapons his country got from Western nations, the faster it will be able to liberate, what he called, its occupied territories.