French FM makes surprise visit to Kyiv

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French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna was in Kyiv on Tuesday on an unannounced visit to Ukraine in a show of support for the country invaded by Russia.

“Good morning Ukraine, it’s good to be back,” she wrote on social media, posting a picture of herself walking in Kyiv with the French ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins.

During her visit, Colonna is expected to meet with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and with Ukraine’s top prosecutor Andriy Kostin.

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She is also scheduled to hold talks with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and to visit to a military airport in the city of Gostomel, north of Kyiv.

“The minister wishes to demonstrate France’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its full determination to strengthen its support for Ukraine and its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” her ministry said in a statement.

Colonna’s visit comes as Moscow is staging annexation referendums for four eastern Ukrainian regions to become part of Russia, votes denounced by Kyiv and its Western allies.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the referendums a “travesty” and “provocation,” speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week.

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