Chocolate bars, jelly bears, and a bottle of Pinot Noir. That is what Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz carried in his briefcase to face the ten hours of train that he has shared with the French President, Emmanuel Macron and the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi from Poland to kyiv. So that the three leaders did not lack for anything, their respective advisers loaded food and drink rations in the gloomy Przemysl station, in southern Poland and bordering Ukraine. Romanian Prime Minister Klaus Iohannis joined the trio in kyiv. He chose another path.

The trip, according to the German agency Dpa, was, as far as it goes, enjoyable. The Ukrainian railways made sure that the three delegations had enough space. The train, blue in color and marked “diplomatic journey” all over, consisted of nine carriages, three per delegation.

Draghi was in the lead, Macron in the middle and Scholz in the tail. Once installed, the trio, representing the most important economies of the European Union and members of the G-7, met in the dining car for a chat between six eyes. The atmosphere was relaxed and there was even laughter, as if the trip to kyiv were child’s play. It is true that the Russian authorities were informed beforehand, but even so, going through war zones is always dangerous.

It is not known until what time the three leaders conversed and if in that conversation they agreed on a strategy before the most important meeting with Volodimir Zelenski that has occurred. No other visit has aroused the interest of this one, including those of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the American Nancy Pelosi.

Once in kyiv, Draghi, Scholz and Macron were transferred to a hotel and to get them into the situation, sirens sounded warning of airborne danger. It had been days since they had sounded according to the correspondents posted there, so thought is free. The citizens of kyiv did not flinch.

Cleaned and wearing a tie, the convoys set off towards an unknown place, since the meeting point with Zelensky is kept secret. Shortly after it was learned that the convoy, already with Iohannis embedded, went to the city of Irpin. The first statements were made there and they were to strongly condemn “the brutality” of the Russian war of aggression.

Scholz spoke of senseless violence, of innocent civilians being hit and homes destroyed. “This says a lot about the brutality of Russia’s war of aggression, which is simply out for destruction and conquest.” For Scholz and the rest of his colleagues, the destruction at Irpin is a “very important reminder” that something must be done. “Russia is promoting it with the greatest brutality without taking into account human life. And that is what must also come to an end,” the foreign minister stressed, not without ensuring Ukraine’s international solidarity. As in neighboring Bucha, almost 300 people were executed in Irpin after the withdrawal of Russian troops at the end of March.

It is not known what that reminder will be, but Zelensky’s requests are clear: status as a candidate country for accession to the EU and weapons, many weapons and the heavier and more modern the better. Zelenski does not want leaders who go only to take a picture. He doesn’t want promises. He wants facts and an expiration date.

While waiting for the conclusions of this trip, the only one who has achieved something from it has been Scholz. There will be no more discussion about whether or not he should travel and when.

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