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UKRAINE

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have met the Ukrainian president in Kyiv, after the trio travelled overnight by train from Poland.

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) poses next to (LtoR) Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, France's President Emmanuel Macron Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romania's President Klaus Werner Iohannis prior to their meeting in Kyiv, on June 16, 2022. - It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

The three leaders left in the early hours of Thursday, arriving into Kyiv on Thursday morning. After a visit to the heavily-bombed town of Irpin, they met Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

Macron has been paying a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova to discuss the ongoing crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There had been widespread speculation in France that he would combine the trip with a visit to Zelensky in Ukraine, but this was not confirmed until Thursday morning.

In a joint press conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, Macron reiterated his desire that Ukraine should win the war, but added that eventually negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be necessary.

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POLITICS

Germany’s Scholz ‘concerned’ about possible far-right election win in France

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday he was "concerned" about the prospect of a victory for the far-right in France's upcoming parliamentary elections.

Germany's Scholz 'concerned' about possible far-right election win in France

President Emmanuel Macron’s party is trailing badly with less than two weeks to go before the first round of the snap elections he called in response to the far right drubbing his party in European polls.

“I am concerned about the elections in France,” Scholz told public broadcaster ARD in an annual summer interview.

“And I hope that parties that are not (Marine) Le Pen, to put it that way, are successful in the election. But that is for the French people to decide,” he added.

Opinion polls forecast Macron’s ruling alliance would come third in the legislative elections on June 30 — followed by a second round on July 7 — behind Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN), and a new left-wing alliance.

This could make RN leader Jordan Bardella France’s next prime minister, although the 28-year-old has insisted he will only accept this if his party and allies win an absolute majority of seats.

Germany’s far-right AfD party also made gains at this month’s European Parliament elections, while Scholz’s ruling coalition suffered.

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