According to information from “Bild am Sonntag”, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to travel to Kyiv before the G7 summit at the end of June. He is planning the visit with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the newspaper reported on Saturday, citing French and Ukrainian government sources.
A spokesman for the federal government did not want to comment on the report on Saturday evening. From the Élysée Palace in Paris it was only said: “No, we do not confirm this information.”
According to the “BamS”, Paris and Berlin have been negotiating a joint visit to Kyiv for some time. Macron only wanted to drive after the French parliamentary elections. Taking the Italian head of government with him is said to have been an idea from France. Scholz, Macron and Draghi want to set a sign of European unity with their trip.
From the Élysée Palace it was said on Friday that Macron was available for a visit to Ukraine, but there were no concrete travel plans and dates yet. Such a trip could take place before, but also after the EU summit. There was no talk of a joint visit with Scholz or Draghi. The purpose of a trip by Macron will be to open or initiate a European perspective for Ukraine, it said.
Since the beginning of the war, numerous heads of state and government have traveled to Kyiv to demonstrate their solidarity with the country attacked by Russia. Scholz had recently said that he would only travel there if there were specific things to discuss: “I will not join a group of people who do something for a short in and out with a photo shoot. But when, then it’s always about very concrete things.”
A number of his ministers have since been to Ukraine: Annalena Baerbock (external, Greens), Svenja Schulze (development, SPD) and most recently Karl Lauterbach (health, SPD) and Cem Özdemir (agriculture, Greens). Parliament President Bärbel Bas (SPD) and opposition leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) also visited Kyiv.
Ukraine is hoping the EU will declare it a candidate country at its summit on June 23-24, just ahead of the June 26-28 G7 summit. Selenskyj invited Scholz to Kyiv weeks ago. At first, however, there was resentment because of the short-term cancellation of a trip by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier from the Ukrainian side.
Instead, Scholz toured five Balkan countries on Friday and Saturday. This trip also dealt with the topic of EU accession. Nineteen years ago, six countries in the Western Balkans were promised admission to the European Union. Not a single one of them is close to joining today. Two do not even have the candidate status that Ukraine is now hoping for.
At his last stop in Sofia, Scholz commented positively on the recent trips to Kyiv by the Leyens, Lauterbachs and Özdemirs. “I welcome all these trips,” he said. They are not surprising to him and all make sense. That is also the standard for such trips. When asked if and when he would travel to Ukraine himself, the chancellor did not answer.