By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – The leaders of the European Union’s three largest economies, Germany, France, and Italy, pledged Thursday to back Ukraine’s “immediate” candidacy to join the 27-member nation European Union.
They spoke after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. He has fiercely advocated EU membership as his country loses ground in the face of Russia’s invasion
The announcement came during the first wartime visit to Kyiv by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. They traveled together from Poland on an overnight train.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis joined them in the Ukrainian capital. “We are at a turning point in our history,” Draghi said, standing alongside Zelensky and the three other leaders at a news conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace, where official delegations are received.
“Every day, the Ukrainian people are defending the values of democracy and liberty that are the pillars of the European project, of our project,” Draghi said.
Scholz stressed that he had come with the message that Ukraine “belongs to the European family.” Macron declared: “Ukraine can count on us.” Europe is “more united and stronger than ever,” Iohannis said.
However, it remains an uphill battle; Air raid sirens could be heard shortly before the leaders spoke.
Kyiv said it needs more advanced weapons to halt Russia’s military as it seeks up to push for victory in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.