Berlin Chancellor Olaf Schultz does not wish to travel to the capital Kyiv at the moment because the Ukrainian side has not invited President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “What now?” said the SPD politician on Monday on the ZDF programme. For his ride, Schulz explained, “This gets in the way of things.”
When asked how this would be resolved, the chancellor said: “First of all, for us Democrats, you have to be part of the process that we have no doubts about: you can’t do that.”
“It can’t work that from a country that provides a lot of military aid, you do a lot of financial aid that is needed when it comes to security guarantees that are important for Ukraine in the future is to say then: but the president is not allowed to attend,” Schulz added. .
Steinmeier’s planned visit in mid-April failed because the Ukrainian side did not invite him. He wanted to go to Kyiv with the heads of state of Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, who eventually left without him. Steinmeier has been criticized for his past policy toward Russia as Ukraine’s foreign minister. Meanwhile, he admitted errors in the assessment of Kremlin President Vladimir Putin and in his assessment of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, for example.
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Regarding the planned trip to Kyiv by CDU leader Friedrich Merz, Schulz said he had informed him of his plans. “I have no objection.” He agreed to the trip.
The chancellor rejected the accusation of reluctance to support Ukraine. “I have always decided quickly, with everyone else, in concert with the allies. But my course of study is that we act wisely and with a clear mind.” Government does not make decisions in the style of public relations management — “still something to it or nothing at all.”
Schulz emphasized that the financial and military aid provided by Germany and other countries helped “the Ukrainian army, which is already acting very successfully, can now hold out for a long time against such a dominant opponent.” The Ukrainian army will continue to be supported.
Schulz: “Ukraine must not lose”
The goal of the war is for Ukraine to live in peace and freedom. “Our goal is to end the fighting immediately, and for Russia to end the war and withdraw its soldiers from Ukraine,” Schultz said. “Russia must not win, Ukraine must not lose.” And there should be no peace for granted with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shultz said that Russia should withdraw from the territory of Ukraine. The 2014 annexation of Crimea continues to be a violation of international law.
Schulz again called on his predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder (Social Democratic Party) to resign from his positions in Russian state-owned enterprises. Schultz said it was “totally unacceptable, and at the latest impossible since the beginning of the war” that the former Federal Chancellor should continue to perform these functions. But he added that the Chancellor could not “order” his predecessor.
More on the Ukraine war:
Schroeder has been heavily criticized for not giving up his positions at Russian energy companies despite the Russian attack on Ukraine. He joined pipeline company Nord Stream shortly after leaving the government office in 2005.
The chairman of the shareholder committee is still there. He is also the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Russian energy giant Rosneft and is still registered in the Responsible Trade Registry as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nord Stream 2 AG. He was nominated to the Supervisory Board of the Russian gas giant Gazprom.
more: You can follow all current developments in our news blog.