Author`s name Lyuba Lulko

EU candidate status in exchange for concessions. Scholz, Macron and Draghi go to Kyiv

The leaders of EU's three powers are expected to go to Kyiv to find out what concessions Ukraine is ready for in return for a positive decision on EU candidate status.

According to German newspaper Bild, the heads of France, Germany and Italy are expected to visit Kyiv before G7 summit, which will begin in Germany on June 26.

However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not confirm reports of his expected arrival in Kyiv on Thursday along with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Macron's services acted similarly.

Emmanuel Macron was in Romania on Tuesday, where he met with French soldiers stationed at the NATO base. On Wednesday, he is to visit Moldova. Italian Prime Minister Draghi is in Israel to discuss energy issues.

"As for the mission to Kyiv with the participation of Chancellor Scholz and French President Macron, maximum confidentiality is maintained, but the likely date marked on the agenda of the Palazzo Chigi is Thursday," Italian publication Agi said.

The West wants to know what concessions Zelensky can make 'to end the war'

The European Union needs to decide whether to double arms shipments to Ukraine or conduct negotiations with Moscow to end the war, Western publications say.

Western leaders fear that protracted hostilities will drag NATO nations into the conflict, which may force Russian President Vladimir Putin to "escalate the crisis." Macron, in particular, said twice that it was important not to humiliate Russia.

European officials are also unhappy with the damage that inflation and high energy prices are causing to their own economy. The possible domestic political backlash is an issue too.

It is believed that the leaders of the three countries want to find out what Ukraine is ready for in exchange for the status of an EU candidate. This status may apparently push Ukraine towards concessions in order to end the armed conflict.

EU heavyweights share a position that differs from that of Brussels

Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior researcher at the Center for European Studies at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations also believes that the visit of the three EU leaders was connected with the start of discussions of Ukraine's EU candidate status.

The expert suggested that Scholz and Macron wanted to explain to Zelensky that it would be difficult to grant this status to Ukraine now as many other candidates would be outraged about Ukraine's speedy incorporation into the alliance.

According to the expert, Scholz and Macron are opposed to the idea of granting this status to Ukraine. If they do not come to an agreement with Brussels, which insists that Ukraine should become a candidate for EU membership, then the visit may not take place.

"This can be a broad agenda. Maybe they will discuss the demining of ports. If it does not start, then the issue of the EU candidate status could be hampered," Vladimir Olenchenko told Pravda.Ru.

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