Klaus Iohannis, in Kyiv with Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Mario Draghi

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Romanian President Klaus Iohhannis arrived in Kyiv today on a joint visit with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Information about Iohannis’ visit to Kyiv was published earlier this week by Ukrainian parliamentarian Oleksi Goncearenko on Twitter, but has not yet been confirmed by Romanian authorities for security reasons.

Iohannis posted on Twitter the first images of his arrival in Kyiv, saying he went there with the three European leaders to show “strong support and full solidarity with President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people.” “This illegal Russian aggression must stop!” Iohannis wrote.

 

Scholz, Macron and Draghi, who traveld together in Ukraine, posted a photo of the train to Kyiv.

The four European leaders – Klaus Iohannis, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Mario Draghi – have arrived in Irpin, a town near Kyiv destroyed by Russian bombing.

The European officials saw the effects of the Russian attacks. According to the French press, local leaders showed them pictures of the city before and after the Russian invasion.

“This is the stigma of barbarism,” Emmanuel Macron commented on what he saw in Irpin.

President Klaus Iohannis has called for Russian military perpetrators of Ukraine’s crimes and destruction to be brought to justice.

 

We will rebuild everything,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi promised on Thursday, after visiting Irpin, one of the suburbs of Kiev devastated in the first weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Russians “destroyed kindergartens, playgrounds. Everything will be rebuilt,” Draghi told reporters after walking the ruined streets of Irpin.

A lot of what (the Ukrainians) told me about reconstruction,” Draghi added, referring to their “hope” for “what they want to do in the future.” In fact, “they have already started”, especially with the help of an application that “reviews every place that has been destroyed”, so that “the authorities know exactly where the places to be rebuilt are”, the Italian prime minister added.

Ukrainian Development Minister Oleksi Chernysov told European leaders that more than 12,000 blocks of flats had been destroyed since the beginning of the Russian invasion. He also showed them the cars in which the Russians killed women and children who were trying to escape the fighting. “The Russians were targeting these cars, we have pictures of these cars, there were whole families in them, the Russians fired at these cars, families, women, children, there was no man in them. They were just knowingly killing people in these cars. They posed no military risk, people were just trying to escape, escape Irpin and kill them in their cars. They are not just any car, they are the cars in which they were killed. You can see that the cars are on fire “, said Chernysov.

The bodies of 290 civilians were found in Irpin after the withdrawal of the Russians.

The visit comes a day before the EU executive makes a recommendation on the status of Ukraine’s EU bid. While France, Germany and Italy have been pretty vague regarding this issue, Romania spoke in favor of the accession to the EU of both Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.

On Wednesday, during his visit to Romania, Emmanuel Macron said it was time for Europe to reassure Ukraine of its European ambitions. “We are at a time when we Europeans need to send clear political signals to Ukraine and its people when it is heroically resisting,” the French president said, without giving details.

 

“Ukraine has the steady support of the international coalition”

The meeting of the president of Ukraine with the presidents of France and Romania, the prime minister and the chancellor of Germany has just ended.

The head of the president’s office Andrii Yermak, who took part in the meeting, wrote on his information portal that Ukraine has the support of Europe.

“Zelenskyy’s meeting with Scholz, Macron, Draghi, Johannis is over, Ukraine has the strong support of the international coalition. Europe today together with Ukraine,” said Andrii Yermak. More details here.

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