German chancellor Scholz to visit Kyiv before heading to Moscow
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Kyiv on Feb. 14, reported German public broadcaster DW on Feb. 3, citing an official announcement by the German government.
After traveling to Kyiv, Scholz is scheduled to head to Moscow, where he will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border.
Scholz has described the current situation as “quite serious”, and stated that Russia had been warned that it would pay a high price if it was to infringe on Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.
As previously reported, Scholz will be meting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on Feb. 7 before conducting his Eastern European visits.
Since the end of Oct. 2021, Russia has been massing troops to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 130,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
Germany has declined to sell Ukraine weapons on numerous occasions. Berlin is guided by its conviction to “not sell weapons to countries embroiled in armed conflicts,” and that lethal aid “would not advance de-escalation efforts,” according to the German government. Instead, Germany has offered to send Ukraine 5,000 helmets in defensive aid as a show of support.
Earlier, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht noted that Berlin’s refusal to arm Kyiv has been down in the hopes of avoiding doing anything that would further escalate the current tensions. She added that Germany will, however, provide Ukraine with a modern field hospital.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated that Berlin is supporting Ukraine’s military with medical aid, but will stop short of sending Ukraine weapons.
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