Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 62° Clear
News >  Nation/World

European Leaders Assure Ukraine of Support, but Questions Remain

UPDATED: Thu., June 16, 2022

Aurelien Breeden, Andrew E. Kramer, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Katrin Bennhold and Anton Troianovski The New York Times

By New York Times

European leaders visiting Kyiv expressed support on Thursday for making Ukraine a candidate for membership in the European Union, a show of solidarity that comes amid questions over their backing of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his calls for heavier weapons to offset Moscow’s artillery advantage.

President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany and Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy follow a host of European leaders who have traveled overland to Ukraine’s capital with air travel off limits because of security concerns. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made the journey in April.

Macron said that the three leaders and President Klaus Iohannis of Romania, who was also in Ukraine, supported granting Ukraine EU candidate status and that France would deliver six additional Caesar truck-mounted howitzers in the coming weeks, on top of the 12 that France has already delivered.

“We are and we will remain by your side in the long run to defend your sovereignty, your territorial integrity and your freedom,” Macron said at a news conference in Kyiv. “This is our goal, we have no other and we will achieve it.”

Scholz on Thursday also publicly expressed support for Ukraine’s EU candidacy, saying that he and his fellow European leaders had come to Kyiv with a clear message that “Ukraine belongs to the European family.”

The European Commission is to publicly make its official recommendation on Ukraine’s application on Friday.

In recent days, criticism had mounted within Ukraine over the perception that European officials – and Macron in particular – were seeking to pressure Zelenskyy into peace talks with Russia. But on Thursday, the visiting leaders insisted that any timeline for peace would be in Ukraine’s hands. And Scholz said he supported the idea, expressed by Macron, as well, that “Russia cannot impose a path to peace, it cannot get away with giving Ukraine conditions that cannot be accepted, neither by Ukraine nor by us.”

The European leaders also traveled, along with Iohannis, to Irpin, a Kyiv suburb where investigators are looking into reports of Russian atrocities during the war. Scholz lamented the destruction that the war is causing, and said in Irpin, “It is even worse when you see how terribly senseless the violence is that we are seeing here.”

Russia dismissed their visit as empty symbolism.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.