Trudeau visits Irpin as diplomats and politicians return to Ukraine

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traveled to Irpin, Ukraine on Sunday as scores of diplomats and politicians traveled to the country ahead of VE Day. Photo courtesy of Oleksandr Markushyn/Facebook

May 8 (UPI) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Ukraine on Sunday as scores of diplomats and politicians traveled to the country ahead of VE Day.

Trudeau announced his visit in a message on Twitter and says he traveled with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly.

“We are here to show our support for Ukraine and its people,” Trudeau said. “Our message to the President [Volodymyr Zelensky] and the Ukrainians is this: Canada will always stand with Ukraine. »

His visit has been confirmed by Oleksandr Markushyn, the mayor of the Kyiv suburb of Irpin. The city was destroyed when Russian forces attempted to attack the capital before refocusing the war on eastern Ukraine.

“He came to Irpin to see with his own eyes all the horror the Russian occupiers had done to our city,” Markushyn said.

“And, of course, he was shocked. After all, he saw burning and completely destroying not military installations, but the houses of the inhabitants of Irpin, who until recently enjoyed life and had their own plans for the future.”

Markushyn thanked Trudeau for Canada’s support for the country and said he believed the country would continue to cooperate as Ukrainians work to rebuild their cities.

Trudeau’s visit came as First Lady Jill Biden also made an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Sunday where she met First Lady Olena Zelenska, wife of President Volodymyr Zelensky, at a school near the border with Ukraine. Slovakia.

Acting US Ambassador to Ukraine Kristina Kvien returned to Kyiv on Sunday with a group of diplomats for the first time since the February 24 invasion of Russia.

Zelensky met Bärbel Blas, the speaker of the German parliament, in kyiv on Sunday as the countries commemorated the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945.

Blas’ visit was the first by a German official since the countries resolved a diplomatic disagreement over Ukrainian officials’ decision last month not to invite Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier over his past relationship with Russia. .

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic also visited Ukraine Sunday and met with Zelensky, who thanked him for his support for Ukraine.

“Croatia is a principled member of our anti-war coalition,” Zelensky said. “Together we defend the right not only of our citizens, not only of Ukrainian citizens, but also of every European nation to an independent and democratic life.”

Zelensky said he discussed with Plenković a sixth European Union sanctions package and joining the international organization.

Masud Gharahkhani, speaker of the unicameral Norwegian legislature, also met Zelensky Sunday and said he was “deeply shocked” by the Russian occupation in Irpin and Bucha in the Kyiv region.

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