Presidents of 4 countries EU including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, took a train to Kiev to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Estonian President Alar Karis wrote on Twitter on April 13: “On the way to Kiev, to a city badly damaged by the war of Russia since my last visit”.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said he “went to Kiev with a strong message of political support and military support”.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and Latvian President Egils Levits were also present during the visit.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had planned to join the trip “to send a strong signal of Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine”, but on April 12 he said he was not welcome by Ukraine.
“I was ready for it. But it seems, I must admit, that it is not desirable in Kiev,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters.
Steinmeier’s comments came after Germany’s Bild newspaper quoted an unnamed Ukrainian diplomat as saying he was not welcome in Kiev at the moment.
Earlier, Germany’s Bild newspaper reported on the same day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had rejected Steinmeier’s plan to visit due to the German leader’s close relationship with Russia in recent years. Mr. Steinmeier has for many years supported the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – a project designed to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany. This gas project has now been suspended.
The German president is a leading proponent of the concept of “Wandel durch Handel” (Change Through Trade), arguing that fostering close trading relationships can help promote democratic reforms .
For historical reasons, Germany does not have a policy of supplying weapons to a country in conflict, but Berlin reversed its policy to supply Kiev with anti-tank weapons, rocket launchers and land-based missiles. against zero.
In recent times, many EU leaders have visited Ukraine. Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also visited Kiev and pledged to provide more than 130 million USD in weapons to Ukraine.
Downing Street described Mr Johnson’s surprise trip as a “show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people”, and said Mr Johnson’s face-to-face meeting with Mr Zelensky was focused on long-term support and new financial and military aid for Ukraine.