Olaf Scholz is reluctant to visit Ukraine and cites diplomatic snubs – POLITICO

BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Ukraine’s decision last month not to welcome German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier “is getting in the way” of his trip to Kyiv.

On a trip to Warsaw in mid-April, Steinmeier was told that he was not welcome in Ukraine because the government under President Volodymyr Zelenskyj accused him of having had close ties with the Kremlin for too long.

That was not an acceptable way of dealing with the president “of a country that provides so much military aid, so much financial aid that is necessary when it comes to the security guarantees that will be important for Ukraine in the future,” Scholz argued in one interview at the public broadcaster ZDF on Monday.

“The fact that the President of the Federal Republic of Germany … was unloaded stands in the way of the matter,” said Scholz about a possible trip to Kyiv.

But “the help we provided… helped the Ukrainian army… hold its own against an overwhelming opponent for so long now… and we will continue to support it,” the chancellor said when asked about his government’s perceived weakness Speed ​​when it comes to sending weapons to Ukraine.

Scholz dodged a question about why he went from warning about the risk of nuclear war to a pledge to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine in a matter of days, arguing instead that many people are too “fixated” on terms like “heavy.” Weapons”. although in reality Germany has been sending “very dangerous weapons” since the start of the Russian invasion.

The Chancellor did not rule out meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin if he is invited to the G20 summit in Indonesia later this year. “We will decide that when the time comes,” he said, emphasizing, “It is about an international cooperation structure in which it is very important that we do not forget who else we want to have as an ally.”

When asked about the strategic goal of Germany and NATO in the war in Ukraine, Scholz called the immediate end to hostilities and a withdrawal of Russian soldiers.

“We have to refuse someone, in the worst style of 18th and 19th century imperialism, saying, ‘My territory isn’t big enough and I don’t like the borders because they used to be different’ and then trying to change that by force Poor people “, he said.

“Russia must not win and Ukraine must not lose.”

Hans von der Burchard contributed to the reporting. Olaf Scholz is reluctant to visit Ukraine and cites diplomatic snubs – POLITICO

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