Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives in France to meet French President Emmanuel Macron
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made a surprise visit to Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, as his country gears up for a counteroffensive against Russian occupation forces.
The visit on Sunday night extended a multi-stop European tour that has elicited fresh pledges of military support for Ukraine.
France dispatched a plane to pick up Zelenskyy in Germany, where he met Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier Sunday morning.
Macron's office said the two leaders will hold talks over dinner and that Macron will "reaffirm France and Europe's unwavering support to reestablish Ukraine in its legitimate rights and to defend its fundamental interests."
They'll also discuss Ukraine's military and humanitarian needs and "the more long term perspectives for a return to peace in Europe," Macron's office said.
France has supplied Ukraine with an array of weaponry, include air-defense systems, light tanks, howitzers and other arms and equipment and fuel. France's prime minister and foreign minister greeted Zelenskyy off his plane that landed in the Paris outskirts, and he was whisked into the city from there under police escort.
Before flying to Paris, Zelenskyy discussed his country's planned counteroffensive with Scholz in Berlin. Zelenskyy said it will aim to liberate Russian-occupied areas within Ukraine's internationally recognized borders, and not to attack Russian territory.
Among the areas still occupied by Russia are the Crimean peninsula and parts of eastern Ukraine with mainly Russian-speaking populations.
The Ukrainian president is visiting allies in search of further arms to help his country fend off the Russian invasion, and funds to rebuild what's been destroyed by more than a year of devastating conflict.
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