Maintaining dialogue is the only way to resolve the ongoing conflict in the long term, says German Chancellor
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he continues to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin because he wants to see the day when it is finally possible to find a solution to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Such a moment would hardly come if the parties stopped talking to each other, the Chancellor said at a public press conference in the German city of Potsdam on Saturday.
“I will continue to talk to him” Scholz said when asked if he would continue to engage in conversations with the Russian president. “I want to live to see the moment when it is possible to get out of the [current] situation,” he told the audience, adding that “You can’t do this if you don’t talk to each other.”
Scholz also praised Putin’s good command of German and said the Russian leader has always remained “polite” during their conversations. Scholz also claimed that Putin’s position had changed in many ways since Russia sent troops to Ukraine in late February, while still accusing Moscow of wanting “conquer part of Ukrainian territory by force”.
The Chancellor’s comments came just over a week after his last phone call with Putin, which took place on December 2. According to the Kremlin, Putin and Scholz discussed “different aspects of the situation around Ukraine”, and the Russian President explained Moscow’s position on the issue “in detail.” He also highlighted the “destructive” politics of western nations “pumping” Ukraine full of weapons. Such actions, along with financial support, caused kyiv to reject the idea of talks, according to Putin at the time.
Berlin said that Scholz “condemned the Russian airstrikes” against what he called “civil infrastructure in Ukraine” and “underlined Germany’s determination to support Ukraine” making sure he has “abilities” to defend against what the Chancellor has called “Russian Aggression”.
In October, Scholz told German radio station Deutschlandfunk that the tone of his conversations with Putin “is always friendly, even if we have very different views on the matter.” At the same time, he warned against “host all illusions” of these contacts bringing quick results.
In October, the German Chancellor also dismissed reports that Putin had threatened to escalate the conflict. “The information I have read about alleged threats during these negotiations is false,” he said at the time.
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