German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict as soon as possible, “including a withdrawal of Russian troops”, this after a conversation they had recently.
“The chancellor condemned in particular Russian airstrikes against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and emphasized Germany’s determination to support Ukraine in securing its defense capability against Russian aggression,” Scholz’s spokesman said.
The Kremlin on the other hand reported that Putin told Scholz that the German and Western line in Ukraine was “destructive” and asked Berlin to rethink its approach.
The call served to underscore the rift between Russia and Western governments over Ukraine, although Moscow and Washington have said in the past 24 hours that they are open in principle to talks.
“Attention was drawn to the destructive line of Western states, including Germany, which are arming the Kiev regime and training the Ukrainian army. “All this, as well as comprehensive political and financial support for Ukraine, leads to the fact that Kiev completely rejects the idea of any negotiations,” the Kremlin said.
“Kiev has said that peace talks are possible only if Russia stops attacks on Ukrainian territory and withdraws its troops from Ukrainian soil.”
The Kremlin has indicated it wants a diplomatic solution and claims Putin has always been open to talks, but said this was complicated by Washington’s refusal to recognize “new territories” as the Russians were blocking a search for any possible compromise. .
On the other hand, a German government spokesman confirmed that Berlin is not in talks with Ukraine about transferring or deploying Patriot air defense systems there.
Reuters reports that Germany offered Poland the Patriot system last month to help secure its airspace after a missile crashed and killed two people. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak later asked Germany to send fire units to Ukraine.