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President Macron awards Zelensky with France’s highest honor

Pierre Bairin

French President Emmanuel Macron has awarded visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with France’s highest order of merit, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.

“Tribute to Ukraine and its people. Tribute to you, dear Volodymyr, for your courage and commitment,” Macron tweeted alongside a video of the ceremony in Paris early Thursday morning.

The award is the highest distinction a French president can give to another head of state.

“It’s too much for me,” Zelensky said, adding he wanted to dedicate the award to the Ukrainian people.

Earlier, Macron told Zelensky that France is “determined” to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia. “We stand by Ukraine, determined to help it to victory,” Macron said. “Ukraine can count on France and its allies to win the war, Russia should not and will not win the war.”

Macron also said France would continue to provide military support to Ukraine and Paris will “adapt and re-adapt” to Kyiv’s needs. “Ukraine can count on us to build peace,” the French leader said, speaking alongside Zelensky and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

EU summit: The three leaders dined at the Elysée Palace on Wednesday night ahead of Thursday’s European Union summit meeting in Brussels. Macron and Zelensky will fly to the Belgian capital together on Thursday morning, according to the Elysée. 

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