June 8, 2023

Germany will assist Ukraine for so long as it takes, Chancellor Olaf Scholz mentioned throughout the first go to by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the capital Berlin for the reason that begin of the Russian invasion final February.

“I’ve mentioned this many occasions and I repeat it right here at this time: we’ll assist you so long as crucial,” Scholz mentioned at a joint press convention on Sunday, including that Germany, along with its companions, “for Russia to be held accountable for his or her misdeeds.”

The Ukrainian chief mentioned Kyiv would at all times be thankful for Berlin’s assist throughout the warfare, including that Ukraine’s Western allies might make Russia’s defeat “irreversible” as early as this yr.

On Saturday, the German authorities introduced 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion) in army help to Ukraine, the most important such bundle for the reason that begin of the warfare.

The brand new army help bundle, first reported by the German weekly Der Spiegel, consists of 30 Leopard 1 A5 tanks, 20 Marder armored personnel carriers, greater than 100 fight automobiles, 18 self-propelled howitzers, 200 reconnaissance drones, 4 IRIS-T SLM anti-missile methods. aviation complexes and different air protection gear.

In a tweet shortly after the assembly, Zelensky thanked Germany for the “largest army help” for the reason that invasion. “German air protection methods, artillery, tanks and infantry preventing automobiles save the lives of Ukrainians and convey us nearer to victory,” he mentioned.

Germany, Europe’s largest financial system, confronted criticism early within the warfare for what some referred to as a half-hearted response, but it surely emerged as certainly one of Ukraine’s largest monetary and army help suppliers, crucially giving the inexperienced mild to provide fashionable battle tanks to Ukraine. . within the type of its personal Leopard 1 and a couple of fashions, in addition to refined anti-aircraft methods wanted to repel drone and missile assaults.

Talking in Berlin, Zelensky assured his Western allies that his nation was getting ready a counteroffensive aimed toward liberating Russian-occupied territories, and never attacking Russian territory.

There have been speculations that Ukraine may attempt to seize territories in Russia and use them as a bargaining chip in attainable peace talks to finish the warfare launched by Moscow in February 2022.

Underneath strain from journalists about this, Zelensky mentioned: “We aren’t attacking Russian territory, we’re liberating our lawful territory.”

We do not have the time or power [to attack Russia]he mentioned, in keeping with the official translator. And we additionally don’t have further weapons with which we might do that.

Zelensky final visited Germany on the Munich Safety Convention in February 2022, shortly earlier than the beginning of the warfare.

On the time, Berlin was restricted in its assist for Ukraine, each by its power dependency on Russia and by a pacifism rooted in its bloody Twentieth-century historical past. However inside days of the beginning of the warfare, Scholz introduced a significant change in coverage and pondering, which Scholz referred to as the “Zeitenwende” or flip of the period.

Earlier within the day, Zelenskiy met with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German head of state, who was snubbed by Kiev final yr, apparently due to his earlier shut ties with Russia, inflicting a chill in diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Germany.

Each Steinmeier and Scholz have since visited Ukraine, reassuring Zelenskiy of their assist for his nation’s struggle towards the Russian invasion.

After assembly with Scholz and different senior officers on the workplace, the 2 leaders are anticipated to fly to the western metropolis of Aachen, the place Zelenskiy will obtain the Charlemagne Worldwide Prize awarded to him and the individuals of Ukraine.

The organizers say the award acknowledges that their resistance to the Russian invasion is a protection of “not solely the sovereignty of their nation and the lives of its residents, but in addition Europe and European values.”

Whereas German leaders have expressed robust assist for Ukraine, German voters are divided over whether or not the nation ought to present the extra weapons, specifically the superior fighter jets, that Kiev is asking for from its allies.

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