Update on the diplomatic situation The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, is not only calling for more deliveries of heavy weapons to his Western allies, but is also working to ensure that the twenty-seven countries of the European Union will grant Ukraine’s official EU candidate status on Thursday at a scheduled summit in Brussels. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called on European leaders to “rise to the challenge” of the stakes by acceding to kyiv’s request. The European executive issued a favorable opinion on Ukraine’s candidacy a few days ago, and on Tuesday the French Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of EU, declared that a “full consensus” between the Twenty-Seven had emerged on this issue. In Berlin, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, called on Wednesday to set up “a Marshall plan” for the reconstruction of Ukraine. “We will need several billion euros and additional dollars, and this for years”, he underlined. The European summit is to be followed by two other summits, the G7 and NATO. The question of financial aid to kyiv should be at the heart of the discussions of these three meetings. According to Madrid, Mr. Zelensky will participate by videoconference in the NATO summit, which is to be held from June 28 to 30 in the Spanish capital. “The truth is that we are still a long way from negotiations between Ukraine and Russia because Putin still believes in the possibility of dictating peace”, also estimated Mr. Scholz. As Moscow commemorates Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Russian diplomacy has accused Berlin of fueling “Russophobic hysteria” “systematically through almost daily attacks by members of the German government against our country. Moscow has also received new thinly veiled support from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who, in an implicit reference to NATO, castigated on Wednesday “the widening of military alliances”, responsible according to him, among other things, for the crisis in Ukraine.
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