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Emmanuel Macron is expected in Romania on Tuesday to greet the 500 French soldiers who have deployed on a NATO base since the invasion of Ukraine before a support visit to Moldova and a possible trip to kyiv. Follow our live.
4 a.m.: Emmanuel Macron expected in Romania, before Moldova and perhaps kyiv
The French president begins Tuesday, June 14 his first tour in the south-east of Europe directly affected by the conflict in Ukraine triggered by Moscow at the end of February. Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna and of Defense Sébastien Lecornu, will be welcomed at the end of the day at the Mihail Kogalcinearu base, near Constanta, the major Romanian port on the Black Sea, a location that has become extremely strategic since the start of the war.
After being welcomed by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, the Head of State discussed with the forces of the Aigle mission, integrated into the framework of NATO’s strengthening of “its deterrent and defensive posture on its eastern flank of the ‘ Europe”.
Joined Wednesday morning on the base by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Emmanuel Macron expressed “a very clear message of our commitment to NATO allies and European partners”, according to the Elysée, which insists on “the very investment significant” that it represents. France recently deployed a state-of-the-art ground-to-air defense system.
At midday, the Head of State will be received in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, by President Maia Sandu, with whom he has developed “a relationship of trust” after having received her three times at the ‘Élysée since February 2021.
Highly anticipated for weeks, his visit to Ukraine could soon take place in the company of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi according to media in Berlin and Rome. Information not confirmed by the Elysée, which specifies that “nothing is recorded” at this stage. It would be all the more important since France currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until the end of June.
0 a.m.: Lithuania to buy 18 French Caesar guns
“Lithuania will buy 18 Caesar Mark II howitzer guns,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas announced in a tweet accompanied by a photo of the signing of the letter of intent with his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu. “They are supposedly going to the capacities of the Lithuanian army”, he adds, specifying that this is the “largest acquisition project” ever passed with France.
This decision comes as the Baltic country, a member of the EU and NATO, has decided to increase its defense budget for 2022 by 300 million euros, bringing it to 1.5 billion, in the light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the fears it raises for its own security.