Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met Thursday with the leaders of Germany, Italy, France and Romania in the capital Kyiv and discussed the ongoing war with Russia.
“Busy day. Important meetings,” Zelenskyy said on his Telegram account.
“Pleased to meet President of France Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi and President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in Kyiv!”
“We appreciate your solidarity with our country and people,” he added.
Zelenskyy on Facebook stressed that their “key strength and most effective weapon” is unification.
“Ukrainians today are on the frontline of the fight against Russian attacks. But they’re not alone. And this is confirmed by today’s visit of Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Mario Draghi and Klaus Iohannis to Kyiv.”
During the meeting, the leaders discussed the continuation and strengthening of Ukraine’s defense, economic support for Ukraine and post-war reconstruction as well as counteraction to the food crisis and further sanctions pressure on Russia, Zelenskyy added.
“Particular attention was paid to the future of Europe and the European integration of our country,” he noted.
– ‘Unwillingness of Russia’
Zelenskyy emphasized that the “only obstacle” to the diplomatic efforts being made by a number of parties to restore peace in Ukraine is the “unwillingness” of Russia for “real action, for real negotiations.”
He claimed that “Russia does not want peace.”
“It wants nothing but war. Right now, as we stay here, in the Mariinsky Palace, Russian troops continue their brutal assault on the Donbas, strengthening their group in the Kharkiv region, strengthening the bridgeheads in the south of our country,” he added.
He also urged Russia to realize that there is no alternative to peace.
“Meanwhile, we all see and we heard today, when the sirens went off, that Russia is only looking for new ways to intimidate Europe and capture more and more of our land,” said Zelenskyy.
He claimed that Russia’s goal in the ongoing war is to break Ukraine and break Europe afterwards as a whole.
“Russia wants to show that European unity allegedly cannot be effective and that European values cannot work to protect freedom. Therefore, we can and must work together to break this scenario and prove to them that Europe will continue to be free, democratic and, I emphasize this once again, united,” he noted.
He also called on the European Union for the soonest accession of Ukraine to the bloc.
“Ukraine’s EU candidate status can historically strengthen freedom in Europe and become one of the key European decisions in the early 21st century. I believe that this decision will be our common historical success,” he highlighted.
Zelenskyy also thanked Macron, Scholz, Draghi and Iohannis for the negotiations, noting that they are preparing for “new important decisions to strengthen Ukraine and strengthen security in Europe.”