16 Jun 2022 19:42

France, Germany, Italy, Romania back Ukraine's EU candidate status tied to roadmap - Macron

PARIS/BERLIN. June 16 (Interfax) - The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania support the idea of granting Ukraine European Union candidate status tied to a roadmap, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

"The four countries support EU candidate status for Ukraine. This status is tied to a roadmap... We hope that this decision will be unanimously adopted by the European Council [next week]," Macron told a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The status also could evolve in the context of the good-neighborliness policy, he said. In this respect, the French president mentioned Moldova as well.

This path will take some time, as President Zelensky is aware, and concrete steps must be taken starting from today, Macron said.

"This European path has only just begun. However, new forms and new answers are already needed to the issues that arise about energy security, security, in terms of mobility, infrastructure, and youth issues. Because Ukraine is part of our shared continent, we want to create new platforms for cooperation and we offer the idea of a joint European community," Macron said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who also spoke at the press conference, concurred with him.

"Germany is all for a positive decision in Ukraine's favor. This concerns the Republic of Moldova, too," Scholz was quoted by the German tabloid Bild as saying.

"My colleagues and I are in Kyiv today with a clear message: Ukraine is part of the European family of states," he said.

Macron added that Germany and France will not demand any concessions from Ukraine.

"The negotiating conditions and format will be determined by Ukraine. Germany and France will not be negotiators behind Ukraine's back, [will not] demand concessions. They neither do nor will they," Macron said.

"We will be a demanding mediator but will not demand concessions," he said.

He added that Paris would maintain a channel of dialogue with Moscow. "At one fine moment, the conflict must be over," Macron said.

After his visit to Kyiv, Macron told the TF1 television channel that he does not rule out his visit to Russia under certain circumstances.

"A trip to Russia would now require certain efforts, steps on the part of [Russian] President Vladimir Putin," he said.

Macron also said that he intends to continue contacts with his Russian counterpart.

As part of steps to settle relations with Russia, Ukraine ought to make its own decisions as to what concessions it is ready to make to Russia, he added.