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Scholz, Macron and Draghi plan Ukraine visit, first since February invasion

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
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Scholz and Macron stand in front of the Brandenburg Gate after a meeting in Berlin, 9 May 2022
Scholz and Macron stand in front of the Brandenburg Gate after a meeting in Berlin, 9 May 2022   -   Copyright  Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi are all planning to travel to Ukraine's capital before the G7 meets at the end of June.

But none of the leaders has yet confirmed that the visit will go ahead, Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday.

If it does happen, it will be the first time the three have visited Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, now holding about 20% of the country under its control.

In Ukraine, visiting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was given a short tour of Kyiv's historic centre earlier on Saturday.

In a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the two discussed Ukraine's aspirations for EU membership.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine "will do everything" to integrate with the bloc whilst Von der Leyen stated the EU's executive arm was "working day and night" on an assessment of Ukraine’s eligibility as an EU candidate.

The goal is to have the review ready to share with the bloc's 27 existing members by the end of next week.

In his nightly address on Saturday, Zelenskyy said that "keeping Ukraine outside the European Union works against Europe".

The EU will then decide whether to also accept Georgian and Moldovan candidacies for membership later in June.

At the moment, seven countries are at some stage of applying for EU membership: North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Turkey.