Not that they wanted one.
Like different leaders earlier than them, they traveled to the Ukrainian capital on a particular prepare that set off from Poland in the midst of the evening and was guarded by dozens of closely armed troopers.
The three have been in Kyiv on a mission to try to easy out tensions over what the Ukrainian authorities perceives as an absence of tangible help from their governments.
Macron and Scholz particularly have been on the receiving finish of a lot criticism in latest weeks, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky even going so far as suggesting the 2 have been making an attempt to appease Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Macron appeared decided to alter the narrative.
Arriving in Kyiv for his first go to for the reason that battle began almost 4 months in the past — and lengthy after a variety of different world leaders traveled there — Macron was eager to ship a message of help.
Requested by reporters on the prepare station whether or not he had a message for the Ukrainian individuals, the French President stated: “A message of European unity addressed to Ukrainian women and men, of help to speak about each the current and the longer term as a result of the approaching weeks, we all know, will likely be very tough weeks. I wish to be in help and at their facet.”
However the Ukrainian leaders made it clear forward of the go to that it could take greater than phrases for them to consider France and Germany are severe about their help.
“Thanks for coming right here, we now have been ready for you for years, for years, ” Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk instructed Macron on the prepare platform.
Earlier this week, Zelensky warned that Russia would proceed to push additional inland. As soon as once more, he pleaded with Western international locations to ship extra heavy weaponry, which, he stated, “has to come back faster” if Ukraine’s allies wish to stymie Russia’s territorial ambitions.
“We now have proven our power [to Russia]. And it’s important for this power to be additionally demonstrated along with us by our Western companions as effectively,” he stated.
Macron stated that being in Irpin made him consider the heroism of the Ukrainians. “The Ukrainians stopped the Russian military which was descending on Kyiv, so it’s important to think about the heroism of the military but in addition of the Ukrainian inhabitants.”
The 4 European leaders met Zelensky in a while Thursday. The group shook arms and smiled for the cameras in entrance of the sprawling Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, however the environment inside their assembly was possible extra tense, given Zelensky’s latest remarks about Scholz and Macron’s lack of help for Ukraine.
“[Scholz] and his authorities should select to not do a balancing act between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, however to decide on which is their precedence,” Zelensky instructed German broadcaster ZDF earlier this week.
He had harsh phrases for Macron too. The French President has tried to current himself each as an ally to Ukraine — and as an sincere dealer with Russia.
Macron, in an interview earlier this month, stated that “we should not humiliate Russia in order that the day when the preventing stops we are able to construct an exit ramp by means of diplomatic means. I’m satisfied that it’s France’s position to be a mediating energy.”
CNN’s Joseph Ataman, Inke Kappele, Pierre Bairin and Elias Lemercier contributed reporting.