On May 14, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid a working visit to Germany for the first time since the outbreak of hostilities. During a press conference after a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in response to a question about Kiev’s willingness to launch a counter-offensive, the Ukrainian leader indicated that for this he should make “a few more visits” abroad. What else Zelenskyy and Scholz talked about and agreed on – in the Russian media material.
The President of Ukraine outlined the main objectives of his visit to Germany upon his arrival in the German capital. “Already in Berlin. Armed. Powerful together. Air defense. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Security,” Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram channel on the morning of May 14.
On the eve of the German Ministry of Defense reported that the country’s authorities are preparing the largest aid envelope of 2.7 billion euros for Ukraine since the beginning of the military conflict. Among other things, German authorities plan to send 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard 1A5 tanks, 200 reconnaissance drones, four IRIS-T air defense systems and more to Kiev Armament.
As Scholz pointed out at a joint press conference, Berlin is not reducing the amount of support for Kyiv, but only increasing it. According given The Chancellor estimates that since the start of the military conflict, Germany has provided financial aid to Ukraine amounting to 17 billion euros.
Scholz added that Germany will continue to support the Ukrainians and will try, together with its partners, to hold Russia accountable for actions in Ukraine. In particular, the leaders of the two states Deal that Berlin and Kiev will explore legal options for using frozen Russian assets. The joint statement by the German chancellor and the Ukrainian president notes that an “international register of damage” caused to Ukraine as a result of the hostilities is expected to be presented to the Council of Europe summit on May 16-17.
For his part, Zelenskyy thanked Berlin “for the largest package of military assistance” since the start of hostilities, pointing out that Germany ranks second in terms of support for Ukraine after the United States. According to the president, for this year and the following years, Germany “has reserved more than 11 billion euros to support the security” of the Ukrainian state. In his Telegram channel, Zelenskyy called Germany a “reliable ally”, with whom Ukraine is “bringing victory closer”.
At a press conference, the Ukrainian leader said Kyiv was working on creating a “coalition of fighters”, which he invited Berlin to join. To this, Scholz replied that Germany was still focused on the weapon systems already delivered. According to him, the deliveries correspond to the objectives announced by the Ukrainian side.
“Germany has brought a lot to Ukraine. Moreover, as far as air defense is concerned, it is a very modern weapon,” stressed the Chancellor.
About the planes already promised to Kyiv and the place of aviation in the Ukrainian conflict, read the material from Russian media.
Scholz expressed the opinion that “Ukraine is ready for peace”, but Russia, according to the Chancellor, should not dictate its terms.
“Russia must withdraw its troops, otherwise (to achieve peace) it will not work,” he added. estimate head of the German government France 24.
According to Scholz, a peaceful settlement should not “simply mean a freeze (of the conflict)”. “It’s good when other countries make efforts to achieve peace (in Ukraine), but they have to keep in mind that it’s not (maybe) against Ukraine,” he said. he added (quoted by TASS ).
Zelenskyy suggested that “by this year” the military conflict could be over. Speaking about the possibility of a peaceful settlement, the Ukrainian president said that any move in this direction should be based on Kyiv’s “peace formula”.
“Any peace plan will be based on Ukraine’s proposals. <…> We are not just ready to hear the initiative of any country – we are interested in participating in the first “Peace Summit” as much as possible. <…> But we understand that the war continues and that something is changing. We are ready for discussions, for all proposals, but only on our platform,” he explained (quote from Strana).
Counteroffensive and attacks on the territory of Russia
Asked what Ukraine still needs to be ready for a counteroffensive, Zelenskyy stressed the need for several more trips abroad.
“A few more visits and that will be enough,” he said.
According to the Ukrainian leader, the offensive will begin as soon as “there will be a minimum with which we can move forward”.
Among other things, Zelenskyy assessed the risk that Ukraine’s allies would cut off aid to Kyiv if the UAF counteroffensive failed. According to the President, such a possibility exists, but only from those states that “have not been very active in supporting” the Ukrainian side.
“But we believe in success. We are motivated and almost ready for it, ”said Zelenskyy.
The Head of State also assured that Ukraine does not use weapons supplied by the West to attack Russian territories. According to Zelenskyy, she does not have the time, strength or resources for this.
“Regarding attacks on Russian territory, we are not attacking Russian territory, we are liberating our rightful land. We are not interested in this, we have no extra time, effort and weapons” , did he declare.
Earlier, the Washington Post wrote, citing leaked Pentagon documents, that Zelenskyy had privately suggested attacking Russian territory and occupying part of the border regions so he could influence Moscow.
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