The prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic took a long and perilous train ride into Kyiv to visit Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and show their support for the country.
Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki, Slovenia’s Janez Janša and Czech Republic’s Petr Fiala, accompanied by Poland’s deputy prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, are the first Western leaders to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24.
Morawiecki shared a photo of the group studying a map of Ukraine in a room on the train after they arrived on his Twitter, writing, “It is here, in war-torn Kyiv, that history is being made. It is here, that freedom fights against the world of tyranny. It is here that the future of us all hangs in the balance.”
They met with Zelensky on Tuesday (Mar. 15) evening as a curfew began in Kyiv.
“Your visit is a powerful expression of support for Ukraine,” Zelensky told the group.
“Europe stands with you,” Fiala told Ukrainians in a press conference after the meeting. “The main goal of our visit and the main message of our mission is to say to our Ukrainian friends that they are not alone.”
He tweeted that the leaders would “present a broad package of support for Ukraine and its citizens during the visit” adding that international organizations including the United Nations had been informed of the visit.
The Polish government said the three EU leaders were acting as “representatives of the European Council” and the visit was made in agreement with the presidents of the European Commission and European Council.
“Europe must guarantee Ukraine’s independence and ensure that it is ready to help in Ukraine’s reconstruction,” Janša tweeted.
The leaders returned to Poland on Wednesday morning, according to Polish authorities.