France, Germany and Poland back Ukraine counteroffensive in show of unity

PARIS (AP) — French, German and Polish leaders met Monday in Paris for talks on military support for Ukraine’s counteroffensive and future security guarantees to be given to the country, ahead of a summit in NATO in July.

French President Emmanuel Macron said “the Ukrainian counter-offensive began several days ago”, during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda at the Elysée presidential palace. .

In a show of unity, the three leaders insisted that they would continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary.

“This offensive must be deployed over several weeks, even several months. We did everything to help them, within the limits we set for ourselves at the start of the conflict,” Macron said.

He promised to continue deliveries of arms, ammunition and armored vehicles “in the days and weeks to come”.

France wants the counter-offensive “to be as successful as possible so that it can then launch a negotiation phase (with Russia) under good conditions”, Macron said.

Duda, who spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday evening, said: “I hope and believe that with our support the counter-offensive will be crowned with success… This victory, in my deepest feeling, will be the ousting of the Russian army. forces from all occupied territories.

The three leaders declined to be drawn on the details of future, longer-term security guarantees for Ukraine.

“It’s time for Putin to finally acknowledge that his plan has failed, to end the war after almost 16 months with hundreds of thousands dead, millions injured and even more refugees,” Scholz said. finally ready for serious discussions on a just peace,” he added.

The security guarantees are part of ongoing talks between NATO leaders to ensure that Ukraine is not attacked by Russia again once the war is over. The issue will be on the agenda of a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next month.

During their working dinner, the leaders were also due to discuss humanitarian aid to Ukraine, particularly following the attack on the Kakhovka dam, which devastated large areas of southeastern Ukraine. by floods.

Earlier this month, Zelenskyy pushed for more political and security support from NATO at a sprawling summit in Moldova where nearly all European leaders had gathered to condemn Russia. He said he was waiting for “the clear invitation to membership (to NATO) for Ukraine” and “security guarantees on the way to NATO membership” in Vilnius.


AP writers Vanessa Gera in Warsaw, Poland and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin, Germany contributed to the story.

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