War against Ukraine: Chancellor Scholz arrives in Kiev

Status: 06/16/2022 09:59

Chancellor Scholz traveled to Kiev accompanied by French President Macron and Italian Prime Minister Draghi. Even before consultations with President Selensky, Scholz reassured Ukraine of comprehensive assistance.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz came to Kiev to visit. He traveled to the Ukrainian capital together with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The three heads of government are here to meet with Volodymyr Zelenský, President of Ukraine. The meeting is also to be attended by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who also traveled to Kiev, as the head of state himself announced in a tweet.

Scholz promises ongoing help

On the way to Kiev, Scholz again promised Ukraine comprehensive support. “It is important that the Prime Ministers of the three major countries that co-founded the European Economic Community go to Kiev and show their support for Ukraine and the citizens of Ukraine in this very special war situation.” , says the SPD politician. The aim of the visit is to reassure Ukraine “that the assistance we organize, financial, humanitarian, but also in arms, will continue.” Scholz reiterated that this assistance would be provided as long as necessary “for Ukraine’s struggle for independence.”

“One hopes for concrete commitments and not just a symbolic and solidarity visit”, Vassili Golod, WDR, now Kyiv, on the expectations of Chancellor Scholz’s visit to Kiev

Tagesschau 09:00, 16.6.2022

Arriving at Kiev’s Macron station, he also stressed that France, Germany and Italy wanted to send a “sign of European solidarity” with Ukraine with this visit. Plans to visit Ukraine were announced earlier this week, but have not been officially confirmed. The three heads of government are said to have been negotiating a common path for some time.

More than just a photoop

Scholz’s criticism has increased since the beginning of the war because he did not travel to Ukraine. However, other high-ranking politicians have already met with Zelenský, including the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Heads of Government of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Several politicians from Germany have already traveled to Ukraine: Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was in Kiev about five weeks ago, and CDU chief Friedrich Merz and Bundestag chairman Bärbel Bas also arrived.

However, Scholz has repeatedly emphasized that he does not want to “get involved in a group of people who do something for a short time”. His visit is expected to be linked to concrete promises of further support to Ukraine.

Melnyk is pushing for concrete commitments

The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, also demanded in the Rheinische Post that Scholz have to come to Kiev with promises of large-scale arms supplies. Melnyk introduced 88 main Leopard 1 battle tanks and 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, which the Rheinmetall group could deliver immediately. In addition, Scholz must release additional weapons from the Bundeswehr’s stockpile. In the medium term, Ukraine will also need German submarines, corvettes, patrol boats and battleships to defend its own Black Sea coast.

Ukraine and its president have repeatedly pushed for more supplies of heavy weapons. These are currently needed, especially in the east of the country, to defend the highly endangered areas of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Germany wants to supply several rocket launchers

Germany’s stance on heavy arms supplies to Ukraine has changed completely since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In particular, Chancellor Scholz initially rejected such a move, fearing that NATO and thus a member of Germany would not become a party to the war Cheetah or Panzerhaubitz 2000.

Following yesterday’s meeting of the so-called Ukrainian Contact Group, Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht also assured Ukraine that Germany would provide three multiple Mars II rocket launchers. Germany also wants to supply missiles and spare parts for these weapon systems and train Ukrainian soldiers on rocket launchers.

Im joint morning magazine from ARD and ZDF the SPD politician also announced that the promised self-propelled howitzers would be delivered soon. “The training is almost over. And now trained Ukrainian soldiers with tank howitzers can be relocated to Ukraine,” Lambrecht said. Cheetah tanks are also to be delivered to Ukraine soon.

Ukraine has so far received most of its military support from the United States. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin on Wednesday announced another billion-dollar package to provide military aid to Ukraine.

Chancellor Scholz visited Kyiv

Andrea Beer, ARD Moscow, currently Kyiv, June 16, 2022 7:47

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