Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will travel to Paris later Sunday as part of a tour of European capitals designed to shore up support among Kyiv’s allies, according to French media reports.
Agence-France Presse and a handful of other outlets reported on Sunday that French President Emmanuel Macron will receive Zelenskyy this evening and the two leaders will hold talks over dinner ahead of a possible joint announcement.
The Ukrainian president earlier Sunday was in Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who confirmed that his country would send a €2.7 billion package of military aid to support Ukraine.
“Now is the time for us to determine the end of the war already this year, we can make the aggressor’s defeat irreversible already this year,” Zelenskyy said at a press conference with Scholz.
On Saturday, Zelenskyy met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome, thanking her for “helping to save lives” by continuing to provide aid to Kyiv. He also sat down for an audience with Pope Francis, who told the Ukrainian leader that he is “praying for peace.”
The flurry of diplomatic visits comes as Ukraine calls on the West to provide its armed forces with more heavy weaponry and fighter jets to support a long-awaited counteroffensive and help liberate Russian-occupied territory in the east of the country.
“We are working on the creation of a coalition of combat aircraft,” Zelenskyy said on Sunday, as fierce battles continued to rage near the contested town of Bakhmut, where the two sides have been locked in a bloody stalemate for weeks.
According to Kyiv, its troops have made a series of gains there in recent days, and Zelenskyy has pledged to take back swathes of territory currently held by Russian forces, while adding that he is open to peace talks on Ukraine’s terms.