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Zelenskyy in Paris. Why he came to Macron and how Scholz stood under the Ukrainian flag

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy left the United Kingdom to visit France. His plane landed around 10:45 p.m. Kyiv time. In the same way he traveled to London, the Ukrainian leader flew to Orly airport on a Royal Air Force plane.

What is currently known about Zelenskyy’s visit to Paris after the London visit, with whom he meets, and where is he going next?


Zelenskyy’s visit to France: a meeting with Macron and Scholz

Macron greeted Zelenskyy near the Elysée Palace. Photo: Getty Images

Macron greeted Zelenskyy near the Elysée Palace. Photo: Getty Images

Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived at the orly airport after a busy visit to the United Kingdom. He was met there by French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, after which they went together to the Elysée Palace.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s plane arriving at the Orly airport [video]

Near the Elysée Palace, Zelenskyy was greeted by French President Emmanuel Macron. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who had also arrived in Paris to meet with the Ukrainian president, was waiting at the palace.

Zelenskyy, Macron, and Scholz before their dinner in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

Zelenskyy, Macron, and Scholz before their dinner in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Paris: live [video]

According to CNN, which cites the Elysée Palace, the Ukrainian president is set to have a late dinner with the French and German leaders. Franceinfo also confirms that Zelenskyy has begun his meeting with Macron and Scholz at the palace.

AFP adds, referring to its own source, that the dinner at the Elysée Palace in Paris was organized at the last moment.

Zelenskyy traveled to meet Macron, and Scholz traveled to meet Zelenskyy. Photo: Getty Images

Zelenskyy traveled to meet Macron, and Scholz traveled to meet Zelenskyy. Photo: Getty Images

Before the dinner, Zelenskyy, Macron, and Scholz also held a brief press conference. The European leaders reassured Kyiv that their support is lasting.

Zelenskyy, Scholz, and Macron,in Paris: the statements [video]

Thus, Emmanuel Macron declared his willingness to "accompany Ukraine towards victory, towards peace, and towards Europe":

Quote"We stand by Ukraine, determined to help it to victory. Ukraine can count on France and its allies to win the war, Russia should not and will not win the war."
Quote"Ukraine belongs to the European family," German Chancellor Scholz emphasized. "Russia must not win this war."

For his part, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that an effective continental alliance in Europe was needed by all Europeans.

Quote"Putting an end to Russian aggression as soon as possible is the most rational thing to do. The sooner Ukraine receives long-range weapons, the sooner our pilots receive modern aircraft, the stronger our tank coalition is, the sooner Russian aggression will end and we will return a steadfast peace to Europe," he explained.
Scholz and Macron assured Kyiv that their support was lasting. Photo: Getty Images

Scholz and Macron assured Kyiv that their support was lasting. Photo: Getty Images

After speaking to the press and exchanging a brief handshake, the leaders rushed into the Elysée Palace for dinner.

Quote"Now let's work," said Emmanuel Macron in conclusion.

A comical incident happened before the press conference when Olaf Scholz confused rostrums and stood near the Ukrainian flag. However, Macron, after Zelenskyy’s comment, told the chancellor of his mistake, and the German and Ukrainian leaders exchanged places.

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Why Volodymyr Zelenskyy flew to France

Before arriving in Paris, Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave an interview to Le Figaro, in which he admitted that French President Emmanuel Macron had undergone a significant change in his stance towards Ukraine, The Straits Times reports.

Sébastien Lecornu meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy [video]

According to the media outlet, the Ukrainian leader referred to Macron’s attempts to keep channels open to Russia in the early phase of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, now he stresses talking about his French colleague:

Quote"I think he has changed."
Zelenskyy believes that Macron has changed over the last year. Photo: Getty Images

Zelenskyy believes that Macron has changed over the last year. Photo: Getty Images

The Straits Times recalled that Zelenskyy had on occasion shown impatience with Mr. Macron, who held frequent telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin even after the 2022 invasion.

Zelenskyy leaves the Orly airport [video]

Furthermore, Zelenskyy reproached Macron for having offered to cede a part of Ukraine’s territory to avoid humiliating Russia and "save Putin's face".

However, now the French president has indicated that Paris wants to support Ukraine until it emerges victorious in the war and has agreed to send AMX 10-RC light tanks to Ukraine. The move eventually prompted Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz to follow suit and deliver Leopard battle tanks to Kyiv.

Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

Quote"I believe he has changed, and changed for real this time. After all, it is he who paved the way for the delivery of tanks. And he has also supported Ukraine's candidacy for the EU," Zelenskyy said of Macron. "I think that was a real signal. We had a lot of conversations with France, Germany, and other countries. I believe that confidence is real today."

Why Scholz came to Paris to meet Zelenskyy

For his part, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an address to the German Parliament on Wednesday that Vladimir Putin would not achieve his objectives, neither on the battlefield nor in imposing a peace treaty, and that Russia wouldn’t win this war.

Scholz traveled to Paris specially to meet with Zelenskyy. Photo: Getty Images

Scholz traveled to Paris specially to meet with Zelenskyy. Photo: Getty Images

He also urged people to stop speculating about Germany's alleged reluctance to supply arms to Ukraine, explaining that the debate only benefits Russia:

Quote"Any dissonance, any speculation on possible differences only serves Putin and his propaganda."

Scholz traveled from Berlin to Paris specifically to attend Zelenskyy and Macron's meeting and dinner, as the Ukrainian leader was not scheduled to visit Germany.

On February 9, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend the summit of EU leaders in Brussels, although the visit hasn’t been officially confirmed yet as it can be canceled at any moment due to security concerns or a possible escalation in Ukraine.

France has become the third country after the United States and the United Kingdom visited by Zelenskyy after the full-fledged Russian invasion. The president of Ukraine made his first visit to Washington in December, which was compared to that of Winston Churchill in December 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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