Scholz in Kyiv: “We don’t just want to show solidarity”

Scholz in Kyiv: “We don’t just want to show solidarity”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Thursday morning on a special train. There they want to talk to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about more support for the country attacked by Russia and about Ukraine’s desire to join the European Union.

Scholz assured Ukraine continued full support in its fight against Russia’s onslaught. “It is important that the heads of government of the three big countries, who were involved in the founding of the European Economic Community, go to Kyiv and show their support for Ukraine and the citizens of Ukraine in this very special war situation.” , said the SPD politician on his trip to Kyiv on a special train.

“But we don’t just want to show solidarity, we also want to ensure that the aid that we organize, financial, humanitarian, but also in terms of weapons, will continue,” added Scholz. Support will continue as long as necessary for Ukraine’s struggle for independence. At the same time, it will become clear once again that the sanctions imposed on Russia are of great importance. “Because they contribute to the chance that Russia will give up its plan and withdraw its troops again. Because that’s the goal,” Scholz emphasized.

For Scholz, the visit to Kyiv could contain an uncomfortable long-term debate, as the federal government has come under considerable criticism not only for delaying arms deliveries to Ukraine, but also for waiting to visit Ukraine, which some consider it an affront. Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) pledged on Wednesday to deliver three Mars II multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine. However, this is one less system than expected. In early June, on the sidelines of a general debate in the Bundestag, government circles said that Germany would deliver four multiple rocket launchers.

Zelenskyy wants to attend summits

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would represent the interests of his war-torn country at the G7 and NATO summits in late June. He gratefully accepted invitations to key meetings, Zelenskyy said on Twitter late on Wednesday. Initially, it was unclear whether the Ukrainian head of state would leave his country for this or whether the video would be used as in other meetings. Overall, Zelenskyy saw great progress in international support for his country, he said in his video speech that night.

Volodymyr Zelenskyj is due to meet with Olaf Scholz this Thursday.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to meet with Olaf Scholz this Thursday. : Image: Presidency of Ukraine/Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

The military situation, especially in eastern Ukraine, remained extremely tense. “The fierce battle for the Luhansk region continues,” said Ukrainian commander-in-chief Valery Zalushny. Russian troops attacked there from nine directions at once, he wrote on Facebook. The EU Commission intends to make its recommendation this Thursday in Brussels on whether Ukraine will receive the expected status as a candidate country.

Conversations with Biden and Johnson

In his video of the evening, Zelenskyi listed all of Wednesday’s international contacts: phone calls with US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a meeting with the heads of government of Albania and Montenegro, Edi Rama and Dritan. Abazovic. The U.S.-led Ukrainian contact group meeting on Wednesday in Brussels sent the signal that arms deliveries would be stabilized, Zelensky said.