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Chancellor Scholz arrives in Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President

Chancellor Scholz arrives in Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President

Together with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has travelled to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a show of solidarity. 

Leaders arrived in Kyiv on Thursday morning

It is the first time the three European leaders have visited Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. They are due to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss ways they can support the war-torn country, and Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union.

The trip comes just as the EU Commission is set to make its recommendation as to whether Ukraine should officially be granted the status of an EU candidate on Friday, before an EU summit next week which will see the 27 heads of state and government discuss the recommendation. The three leaders travelling to Kyiv together by train is clearly a display of unity ahead of the coming weeks’ crucial developments. 

Scholz under pressure to up support for Ukraine

However, for Scholz the trip is also a pushback against critics who have slammed the chancellor for not paying a visit to Ukraine earlier. The issue of a German state visit got off to a rocky start several months ago when Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was apparently snubbed after expressing a desire to travel to Ukraine.

After a clarifying phone call between Steinmeier and Zelenskyy, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock travelled to Kyiv, but Scholz continued to delay his trip, saying he didn’t want to “join in with a group of people who do something for a short in and out with a photo shoot.” While Scholz delayed, extra aggravation was added to the debate by the accusation from some of Scholz’s critics that Germany was delaying arms deliveries to Ukraine. 

Now that the long-awaited trip is finally happening, Scholz has been keen to reiterate his support. “We don’t just want to demonstrate solidarity, we also want to assure that the help we organise, financial, humanitarian and also military, will be continued,” he told Bild. “And that we will continue them for as long as is necessary for Ukraine’s struggle for independence.” 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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