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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Macron Discusses Further Aid to Ukraine with EU Leaders on Monday

At the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron, 21 European leaders are set to convene in Paris on Monday for the Ukraine support conference, scheduled to commence at the presidential palace at 17:00 local time and extend “as long as necessary,” as outlined by Macron’s diplomatic advisor Emmanuel Bonne during a briefing on Sunday, as reported by a Ukrinform correspondent.

Bonne emphasized the collective determination of the leaders, expressing a commitment to showcasing resilience and taking every possible measure to counter Russia. He conveyed Macron’s objective of fostering a “collective leap forward” in assisting Ukraine.

The interactive session is designed as an open discussion to address the critical issues surrounding financial and military support for Ukraine. Bonne highlighted the urgency of the matter, particularly as American aid faces obstacles due to opposition from President Joe Biden’s Republican adversaries in Congress.

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The impromptu nature of the meeting is underscored by the fact that the decision to convene was made just a week ago, on February 17, according to Macron’s spokesperson. Tentative reports suggest the participation of leaders from Romania, Poland, Finland, Lithuania, as well as Germany’s Chancellor Scholz, UK Foreign Minister Cameron, Spain’s Prime Minister Sanchez, Netherlands’ Prime Minister Rutte, and counterparts from Belgium, Ireland, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, among others.

The United States will be represented by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Jim O’Brien, and Canada by Defense Minister Bill Blair. Macron’s Office clarified that the meeting’s purpose is not to announce new arms deliveries to Ukraine but to brainstorm ways to enhance efficiency and strengthen coordination among allies and Ukraine.

Recalling Macron’s statement during a joint conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris, the French President emphasized that concrete commitments, not vague agreements, are crucial for successful cooperation and security arrangements between nations. This remark followed the signing of a bilateral security agreement between France and Ukraine.

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