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Meloni sees Macron’s pre-summit invitation to Zelenski as «inopportune»

News 360 logo News 360 09-02-2023 Daniel Stewart
Giorgia Meloni, primera ministra de Italia - Gaetan Claessens/EU Council/dpa © Provided by News 360 Giorgia Meloni, primera ministra de Italia - Gaetan Claessens/EU Council/dpa

The Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, has dismissed as "inopportune" that the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, invited the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelenski, to Paris, one day before his visit to Brussels, where he is participating for the first time in person in a meeting of the heads of state and government of the entire European Union.

Meloni has spoken in this way on his arrival at the Council, in statements to the media in which he recalled that Zelenski has the opportunity this Thursday to meet with "all the leaders". "The only goal is to defend the borders and security of Ukraine," he said.

Zelenski arrived in Paris from London for a three-way meeting in which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also took part. Already this Thursday, Zelenski and Macron traveled together on the plane to Brussels, which has ended up being the fourth international capital visited by the Ukrainian leader since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Macron has claimed the "special role" played by both France and Germany in relation to Ukraine, going back not only to the last twelve months but also to the previous years, in which both Paris and Berlin have been part of the so-called Normandy Quartet to try to bring closer positions between Kiev and Moscow.

The French president also defended the collective efforts to help Ukraine to face the invasion and pointed out that Zelenski will have the opportunity to discuss the current situation with the leaders of the EU-27.

European sources asked before the summit that Zelenski's agenda should not be seen as a "competition" between countries but as an opportunity for the EU countries to reinforce the message of their political support to Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion, while recalling that the sending of arms is a national competence that falls on individual governments and not on the EU as a bloc.

For their part, Spanish government sources have wanted to play down the fact that Zelenski first passed through Paris to meet with Macron and Scholz and point out that these are the two countries that from the beginning have taken the initiative in the so-called 'Normandy format' for the Minsk agreements.


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