France, Germany, Italy and Romania support Ukraine’s membership into the EU

France, Germany, Italy and Romania support Ukraine’s membership into the EU
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attend a joint news conference, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 16, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

The leaders of France, Germany, Romania and Italy visited Kyiv on Thursday to show their support for Ukraine. This comes a day before the EU’s executive arm is expected to formally recommend Ukraine to have candidate status to join the EU. The EU member nations will debate the issue at a summit later this month on June 23 and 24.

At a press conference after the visit, all four nations supported Ukraine’s immediate candidate status into the bloc, but Germany’s Scholz said that the nation still needed to meet the criteria for entry. Meanwhile, Zelenskiy has said that Ukraine is “ready to work" to become a full member. Meanwhile, France’s Macron said that while Ukraine could count on its allies’ support, communication still needed to be maintained with Putin. The heads of state also said that more weapons are also being sent to Ukraine.

Speaking about the visit, Russia said that it hoped the Western leaders would help Ukraine during this talk not just by sending them more weapons but also by forcing Zelenskiy to “take a realistic look at the state of affairs."

Key comments:

“We want the atrocities to stop and we want peace," Italian Prime Minister Draghi said at a joint news conference in Kyiv. “But Ukraine must defend itself if we want peace, and Ukraine will choose the peace it wants. Any diplomatic solution cannot be separated from the will of Kyiv, from what it deems acceptable to her people. Only in this way can we build a peace that is just and lasting."

“All four of us support the status of immediate candidate for membership," French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters.

“Ukraine belongs to the European family," said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the joint news conference.

“I would hope that the leaders … will not focus only on supporting Ukraine by further pumping it with weapons," said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. “That’s absolutely pointless, it will prolong people’s suffering and cause new damage to the country."