German Chancellor Says Any Negotiations On Ukraine Must Start With Putin Ending His Aggression



German chancellor says any negotiations on Ukraine must start with Putin ending his aggression

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that any negotiations around ending the war in Ukraine will only begin once Russian President Vladimir Putin understands he will not win.

“My view, it is necessary that Putin understands that he will not succeed with this invasion and his imperialistic aggression — that he has to withdraw troops. This is the basis for talks,” Scholz said in an interview that aired Sunday.

He added that he believes Ukraine is “ready for peace.”

“If you look at the proposal of the Ukrainians, it is easy to understand that they are ready for peace. There must be something done. This has to be done by Putin,” Scholz said. 

Asked by Zakaria if there is a deal to be made that ends the war, perhaps with Ukraine conceding it will not retake Crimea or parts of the eastern Donbas region, Scholz said there will be no decision made without the Ukrainian side.

“We will not take decisions instead of them. We support them,” he said.

Zakaria asked the chancellor if he would encourage Ukraine to consider such an agreement, however.

“We told (Ukraine) that they can go for membership into the European Union. They are working to make progress in all the criteria that are important for this. I think they know that we are ready to organize a certain way of security guarantees for the country, in times of peace to come, but we are not there yet,” Scholz said.

Scholz in the US: The German chancellor held meetings with US President Joe Biden in Washington Friday after a transformative 12 months that saw Germany undergo its most significant shift in military and energy policy in decades.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has turned Scholz, who took office two months before Moscow’s invasion, into a crisis leader, overseeing Europe’s largest economy and most powerful democracy during the worst violence on the continent since World War II.

And it has thrust him and Biden into one of the world’s most consequential relationships, sustained by shared opposition to Russia’s invasion but strained at moments over how to respond.

“You stepped up to provide critical military support. And I would argue, beyond the military support, the moral support you’ve given Ukrainians has been profound. Profound,” Biden told his counterpart this week in the Oval Office.

Source – CNN



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