The leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Romania on Thursday threw their weight behind accepting Ukraine and Moldova as EU membership candidates, laying to rest doubts over their stance amid Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Iran PressEurope: Ukrainian casualties are rising as its military struggles to stop the Russian forces now occupying large swaths of the south and east of the country, including a “land bridge” to Crimea, which Moscow annexed with lightning speed in 2014. And there is no indication that Ukraine can achieve any peace without a giant increase in aid.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi delivered another even more pointed and immediate message to Russia: "The EU and its allies will not strongarm Ukraine into any surrender or territorial compromise to end the war."

“All four of us support the status of immediate candidate for membership,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters at a joint news conference in Kyiv, where the leaders had traveled to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He was speaking alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

Scholz delivered a similar conclusion: “Germany is in favor of a positive decision in favor of Ukraine. This also applies to the Republic of Moldova,” the chancellor said. “Ukraine belongs to the European family,” he added. 219