French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kiyv on Thursday on a joint trip to show their backing for Ukraine as it struggles to withstand a Russian assault.
The visit has taken weeks to organize with the three men looking to overcome criticism within Ukraine over their response to the war.
“It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians,” Macron said as he arrived in Kyiv.
Asked why the visit was taking place now, an Elysee official said they had considered it was best to do it just before an EU summit next week that is due to discuss Kiyv’s bid to join the 27-nation bloc.
The European Commission is due to make on Friday a recommendation on Ukraine’s status as an EU candidate, something the biggest European nations have been lukewarm about.