French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will travel to Kyiv on Thursday for the first time since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, as part of a historic joint trip.
The three leaders took an overnight train to Kyiv, according to images published by La Repubblica early Thursday morning. They are expected to enter Ukraine from the Polish border, the Italian daily reported, although their precise travel plans are unknown, as Paris, Berlin and Rome have not given official details of the highly anticipated trip.
French and Romanian media are reporting that Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is expected to join the three leaders in Kyiv, taking an alternate route on Thursday morning.
The joint visit by the leaders of the EU’s three largest economies carries significant symbolic weight, especially ahead of the next meeting of EU leaders next week, when they must decide whether to grant candidate status. to Ukraine to join the bloc. What Macron, Scholz and Draghi will say about this is still unclear.
During a Wednesday visit to Moldova, which is also seeking EU candidate status, Macron left the door open to prospects in Kyiv and Chișinău. “I want us to send a clear and positive signal, but we need unanimity among EU members. I don’t think we can dissociate Moldova from Ukraine in the outlook we give,” he said.
“There is no consensus for candidate status and there is no consensus for non-candidate status. But there seems to be consensus for a third way – candidate status with conditions,” a diplomat familiar with the matter told Brussels Playbook.
This article has been updated.