European leaders visit Kyiv amid bombardment

Kyiv, March 16 : Amid the ongoing Russian assault of several Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv, three European leaders in a show of defiant solidarity towards Ukraine travelled to its besieged capital, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The dramatic visit was carried out by the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, which happened under tight secrecy as the three leaders crossed the Ukrainian border by train after dawn. The visist caught other European leaders off guard, and angered some and baring uncomfortable divisions in how best to demonstrate Western solidarity with Ukraine. A spokesman for Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said the three visitors were “de facto” representatives of the European on in Ukraine. However, in Brussels, officials said the trio did not have the blessings of the EU, as some of them complained that the trip was too risky, given the Russian forces encircling Kyiv. However, there were others who admired the audacity of the trio, which also included Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Czech Republic and Prime Minister Janez Jansa of Slovenia, casting it as a powerful symbol of the backing for Ukraine among East European countries, where the specter of Russian aggression looms larger than on Europe’s western flank. This visit also comes a week before President Biden announced his own plans of travelling to Europe next week in a show of ty of the NATO alliance in the face of Russian aggression. But by and large the visit did little to help Ukraine step up its defences against the barrage of Russian assault as it was still facing its enemy all by it self as so far all it has got from its western friends is material and symbolic support. ACL0720

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