German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock arrives in Kyiv for surprise visit
Baerbock is on her second trip to Ukraine, which comes a week after Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal's trip to Berlin where he had repeated Kyiv's call for weapons
Berlin: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Kyiv on Saturday on a surprise visit, which she said was to demonstrate Berlin’s unwavering support for Ukraine in its battle against Russia.
It is her second trip to Ukraine and comes a week after Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal’s trip to Berlin, where he had repeated Kyiv’s call for weapons.
“I have travelled to Kyiv today to show that they can continue to rely on us. That we will continue to stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary with deliveries of weapons, and with humanitarian and financial support,” Baerbock said in a statement.
Over the last weeks, Germany has sent howitzers, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles to Kyiv.
Heavier weapons like anti-aircraft systems, rocket launchers mounted on pick-ups and anti-drone equipment are also due in a further military aid package worth over 500 million euros.
Earlier this week, Berlin said it would also team up with the Netherlands to train Ukrainian soldiers on demining.
Baerbock said it was “clear that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is counting on us getting tired of sympathising with the suffering in Ukraine”.
“He thinks that he can divide our societies with lies and blackmail us with energy deliveries.
“This calculation must not and will not work. Because all of Europe knows that Ukraine is defending our peace,” she said.
Baerbock was the first senior German government figure to visit Kyiv in May, when she announced the reopening of Germany’s embassy in the country.
Throughout the country, Russian air strikes over recent weeks have brought Ukraine's energy infrastructure to its knees as winter approaches and temperatures approach freezing, spurring fears of a health crisis and a further exodus
The energy system in Ukraine is on the brink of collapse and millions have endured emergency blackouts over recent weeks
Russian T-14 Armata tanks in Ukraine soon? How the country's most-advanced machines could be devastating
Coming in at an eye-watering price tag of $5.7 million a vehicle, the Russian T-14 Armata made its debut at the Moscow Victory Day Parade in May 2015. The Armata, if deployed, would replace the ageing T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks deployed in Ukraine