Brussels was left red-faced after committing a series of security lapses during Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit this week. The European Parliament has been accused of putting the life of the Ukrainian President at risk after details of a planned appearance at a summit in Brussels this week were leaked from the institution.
Mr. Zelensky was expected to deliver a speech to European Union leaders as well as make a special address to the Parliament on Thursday.
However, the trip was thrown into doubt on Tuesday after loose-lipped parliamentary officials let slip of the secretive plans to host the Ukrainian president.
If visited, this would have been his second visit outside Ukraine since Russia invaded almost 12 months ago.
Last week, amid rumors of a Brussels trip, Zelensky warned “there are big risks if I go somewhere”.
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian leader made a surprise visit to Britain where he met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles.
According to a news report, the cover about his trip to Brussels was blown on his planned visit to Brussels after senior MEPs and EU officials were unable to resist boasting about it on Monday.
A diplomat expressed dismay that European officials had breached the strict security protocols of a Zelensky visit told The Times: “This is embarrassing and takes the wind out of the EU’s sails.
“Zelensky has chosen the UK first and the EU second, showing his priorities — and, from the Ukraine point of view, who can blame him?”
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The leak is reported to have emerged from the cabinet of Robert Metsola, the European Parliament’s president, as well as officials close to the institution’s de facto leader, according to The Telegraph.
The European People’s Party, the centre-right political grouping, of which Ms Metsola is a member, initially confirmed the rumors in a social media post that was later deleted.
MEPs also claimed Alessandro Chiocchetti, Ms Metsola’s former chief of staff and now the Parliament’s secretary-general, called a meeting of parliamentary groups to brief them on the details of the visit.
Charles Michel, the European Council’s president, was reported to have made a direct complaint to Ms Metsola for the leaks, which he argued could have serious consequences for any planned visits by Mr Zelensky to Brussels.
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A spokesman for Mr Michel said he had “invited President Zelensky to participate in person in a future summit of the European Council”.
He added: “For security reasons, no further information will be provided.”