Macron greets troops at the gates of Ukraine in Romania

Emmanuel Macron is expected to greet 500 French troops in Romania on Tuesday night after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, before paying a support visit to Moldova on Wednesday and a possible delicate trip to Kyiv.

“I will be in Romania tonight to support our soldiers who are (…) mobilized within NATO to defend our border east of the European Union and avoid a continuation of the war,” the president said before leaving. France.

This is his first trip to Southeast Europe since the beginning of February 24, the conflict initiated by Moscow, which, he said, is sowing “geopolitical” and “economic” chaos everywhere.

According to media reports in Berlin and Rome, his visit to Ukraine may take place later this week in the company of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The information is not confirmed by the Elysee Exodus, which indicates that “nothing is being recorded” at this stage.

At the end of the day, Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by new Foreign Ministers Catherine Colonna and Defense Minister Sebastian Lecorne, was to meet at the base of Mikhail Kogalnichan near Constanta, Romania’s main port on the Black Sea. become an emergency strategy since the beginning of the war.

Like the Baltic states or Poland, “Romania at the forefront,” sums up the Elysee.

– Eagle Mission –

After congratulating Prime Minister Nicolae Chuka, the President will discuss with the forces of the Aigle mission, launched as part of NATO’s strengthening “its deterrent and defensive positions on Europe’s eastern flank.”

As part of this operation, France is deploying 500 soldiers, including 350 from the army, from various units, including the 27th Battalion of Alpine Hunters from Annecy or the 126th Infantry Regiment from Brive. They are forming a “battalion of spears” with 300 Belgian soldiers, who will be replaced by the Dutch in the coming months.

Romanian President Klaus Johannes joined the base on Wednesday morning, with Emmanuel Macron expressing “a very clear message of our commitment to NATO allies and European partners”, according to Elysée, who insisted on “very significant investments”. France has recently deployed a state-of-the-art air defense system there.

Since the end of February, “we have been able to become an operational force very quickly,” said Battalion Commander Colonel Vincent Minge, welcoming the excellent cooperation with Belgian soldiers and about 2,000 American soldiers present at the base.

The Aigle mission will continue to build a total of 1,000 troops and reinforce Leclerc tanks by the end of the year.

– Support for Moldova –

On Wednesday at noon, President Maya Sandu will receive the President in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, with whom he has a “trusting relationship” after receiving her three times at the Elysee Court in February 2021.

The first French president to visit the country after Jacques Chirac in 1998, Emmanuel Macron and Catherine Colonna expressed “support (for France) in the most direct way” for the former Soviet republic, which was particularly affected by the Russian invasion. Ukraine, with which it has a common border.

To this end, France is financially and financially helping Moldova, which is showing “exceptional solidarity” in receiving Ukrainian refugees: more than 480,000 have left there and 80,000 are still there.

The country, with a population of 2.6 million, one of the poorest in Europe, applied to join the European Union in early March, as did Ukraine and Georgia. Requests to be decided by the European Commission by the end of the week before being discussed at the European summit on 23 and 24 June in Brussels.

During her visit to Paris in May, President Sandu publicly welcomed Emmanuel Macron’s “initiative” to create a European political community that she said would allow her country to “accelerate” EU accession.

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