Scholz, European leaders in Kyiv back Ukraine's application for EU candidate status
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, along with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, decried Russia's attacks during their joint trip to Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi are attending a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.
Germany's Scholz said that the government in Berlin backed Kyiv's bid for EU candidate status. France's Macron said "we all four support the immediate EU candidate status."
Candidate status is not the same as EU membership, it denotes the start of an often lengthy process towards joining the European Union.
Scholz: Ukraine witnessing 'unimaginable cruelty'
The European leaders condemned Russian brutality, and surveyed the destruction in the nearby town of Irpin earlier in the day.
Scholz said the town had witnessed "unimaginable cruelty" and "senseless violence." Mass graves were found in the town of Bucha, which also lies near Kyiv.
Macron condemned the "barbarism" of Russian attacks and praised the local residents who fought back against Russia's failed attempt to take territory surrounding the capital.
Draghi vowed the country will be rebuilt with European help.
"They destroyed the nurseries, the playgrounds, and everything will be rebuilt," the Italian leader said.
In a Twitter post, Iohannis wrote there are "no words to describe the unimaginable human tragedy and horrible destruction" in Irpin.
A trip to show solidarity
"It's an important moment. It's a message of unity we're sending to the Ukrainians," Macron said shortly after the leaders arrived by train.
The trip comes amid criticism that European countries such as Germany are not doing enough to help Ukraine fend off the invasion.
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Wednesday that Berlin would provide Ukraine with three M270 multiple launch rocket systems (known in German as MARS II), one fewer than the four units Berlin had initially planned to send.