The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania have met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to drive home a message of support that Kyiv hopes will lead to more weapons supplies and tougher sanctions on Russia.
In the first such visit to the Ukrainian capital since Russia unleashed its invasion, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Mario Draghi and Romania’s Klaus Iohannis also gave qualified support for Kyiv’s bid to join the European Union yesterday.
After earlier batting away suggestions of being soft on Russia, Macron said the West would not demand any concessions from Ukraine and that the circumstances of peace talks would be on Kyiv’s terms.
Zelenskyy, who has not left Ukraine since the invasion and was dressed in a khaki t-shirt, has voiced gratitude for the West’s help, though his administration also previously berated allies for dragging their feet on sanctions and arms supplies.
Ukraine has asked for more weapons to turn the tide of the war decisively in its favour after enduring losses of 100-200 soldiers a day in a fierce battle for control of its eastern Donbas region.
EU leaders, meanwhile, have grappled with keeping domestic opinion onside as the economic costs of the war and rising prices hit home.