German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says plans to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin 'in due course'
After Moscow pushed troops into Ukraine in February of last year, relations between Russia and Germany froze
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin “in due course,” restoring communication after a near-complete collapse in relations since the Ukraine crisis.
“My last telephone call was some time ago,” Scholz told the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper in an interview published Friday. “But I plan to speak to Putin again in due course.”
The leaders last communicated via phone in early December.
Scholz asked Putin to remove Moscow’s soldiers from Ukraine during the hour-long talk, while the Russian leader accused the West of adopting “destructive” policies.
Since then, tensions between Moscow and Berlin have only grown, notably following Scholz’s government’s decision in January to allow German-made heavy combat tanks to be supplied to Ukraine.
Scholz stated in the interview that his goal was to “actively support Ukraine” but “at the same to prevent a direct conflict between NATO and Russia”
“And never to act alone, but in close coordination with our friends and allies,” he said.
Asked about the prospect of halting the conflict through negotiations, Scholz said that Putin had to understand that the war could not be ended by making “some kind of cold peace”.
“For instance, by turning the current front line into the new ‘border’ between Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
“Rather it is about a fair peace, and the prerequisite for that is the withdrawal of Russian troops,” he added.
After Moscow pushed troops into Ukraine in February of last year, relations between Russia and Germany froze.
The invasion, as well as Moscow’s decision to reduce gas supplies to Europe, affected Germany especially hard since the country had grown to rely on cheap Russian energy to fuel its economy.
Germany has abandoned its usual pacifist attitude in response to the war, providing a barrage of weapons to assist Kyiv in its struggle against Moscow.
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