Scholz must travel to Kyiv

  1. Homepage
  2. Policy

creature: updated:

split, rip

Chancellor Olaf Schultz has kept the war in Ukraine at bay in recent weeks – at least physically. © Michael Kappeler / D

British Prime Minister Johnson, EU Commission President von der Leyen, and Austrian Chancellor Nehamer have already visited Kyiv. The votes that Chancellor Schultz immediately gain are also getting louder.

BERLIN – After trips to Kyiv by European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and several European heads of government, Ukrainian Ambassador Andrej Melnik asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz to visit Ukraine as well.

“I think it can send a strong signal when the chancellor travels to Kyiv,” Melnik told dpa. But at the same time, he stressed that the SPD politician should not come empty-handed. “It will be of paramount importance that Chancellor Schulz’s visit be accompanied by new strategic decisions by the Traffic Light Coalition,” he added.

Request for immediate delivery of main battle tanks

This means handing over weapons. Melnyk demands immediate delivery of Leopard battle tanks, Marder armored personnel carriers, 2,000 self-propelled howitzers and Cobra artillery detectors from the Bundeswehr inventory. “According to our analyzes, all this will be within the reach of the Federal Republic without weakening national defense or commitments in NATO,” he said.

“We know that there are at least 78 Leopard tanks that are not in use by the German army at the moment, so they can be delivered immediately,” Melnik said. “We also have a new offer from German industry to produce 100 Leopard tanks.” However, the long delivery times are the problem.

Melnyk also called for the production of AGM-84 Harpoon missiles capable of attacking ships. The Bundeswehr has about 60 such missiles that can be used to protect the Ukrainian coast – especially the port city of Odessa. “As far as we know, these weapons systems will soon be replaced by the latest RBS-15 anti-ship missiles anyway,” Melnik said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to deliver 120 armored vehicles and anti-ship missiles during his visit to Kiev on Saturday. On the same day, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nahammer was in the Ukrainian capital. An EU delegation led by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger was already present on Friday.

“Of course I think about that too.”

“I think we do share something about our travel plans when we go,” Schulz said Friday at a joint news conference with Johnson in London when asked about a possible trip to Kyiv. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted on the same day when visiting Finland interested in a trip to Kyiv: “Of course I am also thinking about the time for my next visit to Kyiv.”

Melnik said that it would be better if the head of government came to Kyiv. The visit of the Federal President will have a symbolic character. “It would be better for the chancellor or other members of the federal government to come and make concrete decisions about more massive support for Ukraine.”

The chancellor distanced himself from the war

However, there are a few things that speak against an early flight. Schulze has kept the war in Ukraine at bay in recent weeks—at least physically. Berlin Central Station, where tens of thousands of Ukrainian war refugees have arrived in recent weeks, is just hundreds of meters from the Chancellery. Schultz was not once there to get an idea of ​​the situation and talk to the refugees.

Schultz has not yet visited the German army forces on the eastern flank of NATO, which were reinforced during the war. When Silinsky personally asked him in his video address in the Bundestag to tear down the wall separating the EU and Ukraine, the chancellor was silent.

Silinsky: Schulz government ‘reservative and brilliant’

A visit to Kyiv would be more difficult for Schultz than for von der Leyen and Johnson. The two were also warmly welcomed by Zelenskyj as they are seen as practical supporters in Kyiv. The head of the European Union Commission in Ukraine is seen as an ally in efforts to speed up EU accession. During his visit, Johnson announced the delivery of armored vehicles and missiles. This is what Zelensky expects from visitors.

On the other hand, the German government is still hesitant. In an interview with “Bild” published over the weekend, the president talks candidly about his relationship with Schultz. There was a moment when the counselor thought: “Do you really have to be bombarded in order to feel empathy?” Ukraine is taking to the streets, and the government, which remains “reserved and calm” – even if now the “first signs of support” appear.

Kiesewetter: Scholz should get an idea right away

A foreign politician from the CDU, Rodrich Keswetter, called on Schulz to travel to Ukraine like other Western politicians.

“I hope our chancellor will follow this example and get an idea right away,” said the head of the union at the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee in an interview with Handelsblatt. “Germany must play its important role as a pivot in Europe and lead the way in supporting Ukraine, overcoming the crisis and taking the necessary measures that we hope will lead to the end of the war.” dpa

Leave a Comment