Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is expected in Ukraine on Thursday and is planning a visit program of around six hours.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi are also to travel to Kyiv as expected, and Romanian President Klaus Johannis could also take part in the visit, it said.

Several meetings are planned after arrival, most notably a lengthy meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. A visit outside of Kyiv, for example in the town of Butscha, which has become known for Russian atrocities, is not planned according to the current status.

Above all, the heads of state and government are expected to make a clear statement on Ukraine’s prospects for EU membership. The EU Commission intends to present a proposal by Friday on whether Ukraine should be given candidate status. Then the 27 EU countries have to decide.

Scholz had always emphasized that he only wanted to travel to Kyiv if there were specific things to discuss and announce.

The Chancellor will be judged by the following sentence: “I will not join a group of people who do something for a short in and out with a photo shoot. But when it does, it’s always about very specific things,” he said in mid-May.

What Scholz, Macron and Draghi could bring with them as leading representatives of the EU would be a clear signal: decisions on Ukraine’s application for membership are pending at EU level. The country hopes to be declared a candidate country at the EU summit on June 23-24.

Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) traveled to Kyiv again at the weekend. But at the same time Scholz made it clear that there can be no shortcut for Ukraine either, the accession process would take years. And it is particularly important to him that the accession prospects for the six Western Balkan states, which have been making intensive efforts for reforms for years, are promoted.

“It’s not just about the security of this region, in which external forces are struggling for influence, not least Russia. It’s about our own security, which cannot be had without a stable European Western Balkans,” said Scholz recently in a government statement. That’s why he has just visited some of the countries, and the traffic light coalition repeatedly refers to the problems with corruption in Ukraine before the Russian war.

The purpose of a possible trip will be to open up a European perspective for the country, which has been shaken by the Russian war, or to set it in motion, the Elysée recently said meaningfully.