Polish, Czech and Slovenian Prime Ministers meet with Zelensky in Ukraine
The Polish, Czech and Slovenian Prime Ministers met President Volodymyr Zelensky in kyiv on Tuesday.
The Polish, Czech and Slovenian prime ministers met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in kyiv on Tuesday, the first visit by foreign leaders to the beleaguered Ukrainian capital since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Shortly after arriving in Kyiv by train, the three leaders discussed the situation with President Zelensky and Prime Minister Denis Chmyhal. “They are bombing everywhere. Not only kyiv but also the western regions,” Mr. Zelensky told them in words translated into English, on a video posted on his Telegram account.
After the meeting, the head of the Polish government, Mateusz Morawiecki called on the EU to “very quickly give Ukraine candidate status” and added: “We will try to organize defensive weapons”. “We will never leave you alone. We will be with you because we know that you are not only fighting for your freedom, for your own home and for your safety, but also for us,” he continued, on Twitter . Mr Morawiecki, accompanied by Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa decided to go to kyiv to affirm the European Union’s “unequivocal support” for the Ukraine, the Polish leader had pointed out earlier on Facebook. Shortly after their arrival, Mr. Chmygal had praised “the courage of the true friends of Ukraine”.
First visit of foreign leaders to Kyiv since the start of the war
This is the first visit by foreign leaders to kyiv since the Russian attack began on February 24. It comes as Russian forces try to besiege the Ukrainian capital, placed under curfew, and their shots hit certain neighborhoods. The Polish government announced on Tuesday morning that the three prime ministers were traveling to kyiv “as representatives of the European Council, to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Chmygal there”, according to the press release. The purpose of this visit is “to reaffirm the unequivocal support of the whole of the European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and to present a comprehensive package of measures in support of the state and to Ukrainian society,” said the press release published on the Polish government’s website.
From a European source in Brussels, it was indicated that although the three heads of government are members of the European Council and therefore are its representatives, they do not have an official mandate from the Council, since there were no conclusions in the material formally adopted at Versailles. We recall that French President Emmanuel Macron did not have such a mandate either when he went to Moscow. The plan for this trip was communicated to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and to the President of the European Council Charles Michel on the sidelines of the Versailles summit on Friday, then confirmed Monday evening, according to the same source. The practical preparations were then managed by Mr. Morawiecki who consulted again on the night of Monday to Tuesday Ms. von der Leyen and Mr. Michel, indicated in Warsaw the services of the Prime Minister. The Russian offensive in Ukraine intensified on Tuesday, with a series of strikes on kyiv placed under curfew, despite a resumption of talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire and a major concession from the Ukrainian president, who s is said to be ready to give up NATO membership. At least four people were pulled dead and around 40 others rescued alive from an apartment building in a western district of kyiv, Svyatoshin, after a Russian strike that caused a fire there, according to a report from local authorities. .
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