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Scholz, Macron, Duda to discuss Ukraine's NATO bid, safety guarantees on Jun 12

Scholz, Macron, Duda to discuss Ukraine's NATO bid, safety guarantees on Jun 12

Moscow, June 9 (UNI) German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda are expected to hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on June 12, Politico reported, citing French officials familiar with the matter.

The leaders' dinner meeting is expected to focus on the prospects of Ukraine joining NATO and the allies' security guarantees for Kiev ahead of the NATO summit in July, the report said.

The talks will take place amid disagreements over Ukraine between the German and French leaders, the newspaper said.

While Macron is calling for Kiev's NATO bid to be met, Scholz is advocating support for Ukraine in its military conflict with Russia.

European leaders must overcome their differences to send a "strong signal" to Russia amid Ukraine's counteroffensive, Politico said.

"If we don't find a solution that satisfies everyone, the risk is that we won't reach ... a unified statement and that would obviously be the greatest gift we could give to Russia," an unnamed French official was quoted in the report as saying.

In addition, the leaders may raise issues of European sovereignty and defense during the talks, the newspaper added.

French and German media reported in late 2022 that relations between Berlin and Paris were at their lowest point, with the most controversial issues being the natural gas price cap, Scholz's unwillingness to support Macron's vision of European sovereignty and common defense, and Macron's separate negotiations on the construction of the Barcelona-Marseille green hydrogen pipeline.

However, contacts between Paris and Berlin have recently intensified, and Macron plans to visit Germany in early July.


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