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Italy wants Ukraine in EU says Draghi in Kyiv

With Macron and Scholz to "help Ukraine rebuild its future"

16 June, 16:24
(ANSA) - ROME, JUN 16 - Italy wants Ukraine in the EU, Premier Mario Draghi told a press conference in Kyiv after meeting President Volodymy Zelensky with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to show support after Russia's invasion Thursday. "The most important message of our visit is that Italy wants Ukraine in the EU, it wants it to have the status of candidate and it will maintain this position in the upcoming European Council," said the Italian premier. "Zelesnky knows that it is a road to be travelled on, not only a step". Draghi added that the EU wanted peace but Kyiv must be able to defend itself from Moscow's aggression. "In Irpin I felt horror and hope, hope for reconstruction and the future," he said after visiting the heavily bombed town near the Ukrainian capital. "We are here today for this, to help Ukraine rebuild its future. "We want peace but Ukraine must defend itself and it is Ukraine that must choose the peace it wants, that which it deems acceptable for its people. "Only that will be a lasting peace". Draghi added that it would take two weeks to de-mine Ukrainian ports to allow the export of precious grain as well as humanitarian corridors.

"There are two weeks to de-mine the ports. The harvest will arrive at the end of September and a series of ever more urgent deadlines will inexorably take us closer to a dramatic situation. (ANSA).

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