US-EU foreign ministers in Rome for Ukraine talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with his counterparts from Italy, Britain, France and Germany in Rome on Thursday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.

US-EU foreign ministers in Rome for Ukraine talks
US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet EU foreign ministers in Rome on Thursday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Pool/AFP

"Secretary Kerry will be meeting with EU foreign ministers on Ukraine. The purpose is to touch base before the EU Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels today," an American diplomat told the press.

The talks were being held on the sidelines of an international meeting on Libya, and included Britain's deputy foreign minister.

EU leaders were set to hold an emergency summit in Brussels later Thursday with Ukraine's interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who took over after former pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia last month following three months of deadly protests.

The summit will be attended by Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, David  Cameron and other European Union leaders to discuss "the situation in Ukraine and the EU's reaction," according to the European Council.

The priority for the EU is to strengthen the near-bankrupt former Soviet republic and its fledgling government.

SEE ALSO: Ukraine crisis threatens new 'Cold War': Italy FM

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Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have met the Ukrainian president in Kyiv, after the trio travelled overnight by train from Poland.

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

The three leaders left in the early hours of Thursday, arriving into Kyiv on Thursday morning. After a visit to the heavily-bombed town of Irpin, they met Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

Macron has been paying a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova to discuss the ongoing crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There had been widespread speculation in France that he would combine the trip with a visit to Zelensky in Ukraine, but this was not confirmed until Thursday morning.

In a joint press conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, Macron reiterated his desire that Ukraine should win the war, but added that eventually negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be necessary.