Three EU leaders travel to kyiv to meet and express support for Zelensky
▲ A woman inspects the rubble of a house in the Osokorky district, southeast of kyiv. Powerful explosions rocked residential districts of kyiv on Tuesday, killing two people.Photo App
AFP, Ap and Sputnik
Newspaper La Jornada
Wednesday, March 16, 2022, p. 3
Warsaw. Polish, Czech and Slovenian prime ministers met in kyiv yesterday with Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky in the first visit by foreign leaders to the besieged Ukrainian capital since Russia’s invasion.
The heads of government, who arrived by train, sat around a table with their Ukrainian counterpart, Denis Shmyhal, and Zelensky.
They are bombing everywhere. Not only in kyiv, but also in the western areasZelensky informed them, according to a video posted on his Telegram account.
Later, the Ukrainian president released a video with the visiting heads of government in what he defined as
a powerful testimony of supportand questioned the nationality or origin of men who fight with Russian troops, noting that
They speak a language we do not understand. That is, either they are from Syria, or they are being taken from somewhere else..
We must stop this unfolding tragedy in the east as soon as possible. That is why, together with the (Polish) Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the Prime Ministers Petr Fiala (Czech) and Janez Jansa (Slovene), we are in kyivthe head of the Polish government, Mateusz Morawiecki, wrote on Facebook.
The purpose of the visit is
reaffirm the unequivocal support of the European Union (EU) for Ukrainehe added.
Shmyhal earlier confirmed the arrival of the prime ministers in a message on Twitter, greeting
the value of true friends of Ukraine.
The visit came as Russia kept up its bombing raids across Ukraine, including kyiv, which has been nearly surrounded by Moscow’s troops, and as peace talks are taking place in an attempt to end the nearly three-week war.
At the meeting, Poland asked for a
peace mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),
protected by the armed forcesto help Ukraine, declared last night in kyiv Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
This mission cannot be disarmed. It should try to provide humanitarian and peaceful aid to UkraineKaczynski declared, quoted by the PAP press agency.
The leaders of the European Union were
informed of the trip of the three Central European countries, but they did not endorse it.
According to officials, Brussels distanced itself from the Polish initiative and the EU claimed that the trip of the three countries was made
without any mandate from the European Council.
An EU official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that after a summit in Versailles last week, the Council of Europe was informed of the potential mission, but
there were no conclusions or mandate from the European Council for the initiative.
Another EU official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, assured that the president of the European Council, Charles Michel,
noted security risks of the plan.
The three Central European countries, former communist nations that now belong to the EU and NATO, could be accidentally or deliberately attacked in the war zone, which could lead to an international escalation in the conflict with unforeseeable consequences for Europe, since the treaty of the Atlantic Alliance to which the three countries belong, contemplates that in the event of an attack against one of the allies, all the others must respond.
In parallel, the West continues to tighten sanctions against Russia, with a fourth series of EU measures, which includes blockades on access to luxury goods and international financial institutions.
The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his wife for corruption and human rights violations.
The Slovak Parliament authorized the deployment of NATO troops in the country, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said, while Cold Response military exercises began in Norway, a joint exercise of different countries of the Atlantic Alliance.