France wishes to see Ukraine take back control of Crimea as part of a military victory against Russia, according to a French diplomatic source.
The remarks came as French, German and Italian leaders visit Kyiv. The source was speaking to pool journalists traveling with the French delegation on Thursday.
“We are for an integral victory with restoration of territorial integrity on all territories conquered by the Russians, including Crimea,” the French official said, referring to the Black Sea peninsula that Russia forcibly annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Once the war is over, talks will be necessary to determine the sort of security guarantees for Ukraine and the relationship between Ukraine and NATO, the diplomatic source said, in order “to know how we build a lasting peace.”
“What is at stake is the security of us all,” they said, adding that, a Ukrainian “military victory is for Zelensky to define.”
Some background: French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kyiv on Thursday.
The three leaders have traveled to Kyiv by train, where they are expected to convene with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and express “a message of European unity.”
Speaking to reporters on the platform as he arrived at Kyiv train station, Macron said the leaders will also visit the site of an alleged massacre.
Asked if he had a message for Ukrainians, Macron said he had a “message of European unity addressed to Ukrainian men and women.”
“The coming weeks, we know, will be very difficult,” he said. “I want to support them and be at their side.”
CNN’s Pierre Bairin in Kyiv contributed reporting to this post.