The Presidents discussed Ukraine’s accession to the EU, the evacuation of the Ukrainian military from Azovstal and new sanctions against Russia. Macron promised Zelensky to increase the intensity of aid supplies to Kiev
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky had a “long and intense telephone conversation” with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
As Zelensky said on his Twitter, they discussed:
- the course of hostilities and the withdrawal of the Ukrainian military from the territory of “Azovstal”;
- prospects of the negotiation process of Moscow and Kiev;
- fuel supplies to Ukraine;
- defense support from France and possible ways of exporting Ukrainian agricultural products;
- preparation of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia;
- consideration of Ukraine’s application for the status of a candidate for EU membership.
The statement of the Elysee Palace on the telephone conversation says that Macron “confirmed his intention to respond to all requests from Ukraine for assistance: supplies of military equipment, fuel, humanitarian aid, economic and financial support.” The French President promised that “the intensity of arms and humanitarian aid supplies will increase in the coming days and weeks.” He said that since February 24, over 800 tons of French humanitarian aid have been delivered to Ukraine.
Macron’s office added that the presidents discussed security guarantees that Paris could provide to Kiev.
The French President noted that “a huge part of the world” depends on food supplies from Ukraine. He discussed with Zelensky ways to organize the export of Ukrainian grain.
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Macron said that Ukraine’s application for EU membership will be considered at a meeting of the European Council, while taking into account the conclusion of the European Commission provided by that time. On May 9, Macron warned that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union could take several years or even decades. He, however, noted that the EU “cannot be the only means of structuring the European continent”, and proposed to create a new “European political community”, which will include Kiev.
From the very beginning of the Russian military operation, Paris has declared its support for Ukraine and stands for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Macron has been on the phone with both Zelensky and Vladimir Putin several times since the end of February. During the last telephone conversation with the President of Russia in early May, the French leader stressed that the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine would lead to “extreme consequencesgravity, therefore, the fighting must be stopped immediately. Putin, in turn, pointed to the EU countries’ disregard for the crimes of the Ukrainian security forces and called for an end to arms supplies to Kiev. He noted the readiness of the Russian side to continue negotiations, despite the “inconsistency and unpreparedness” of the Ukrainian delegation.
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