The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was ready to resume contacts on the topic of Ukraine with the Russian president Vladimir Putin, with whom he has not spoken since December, reported France Press.
“My last phone conversation was some time ago. But I intend to talk to Putin again when the time comes,” the chancellor said in an interview published by v. Koelner State Anzeiger“.
As for the conflict in Ukraine however, “Russia he must understand that there can be no question of a conclusion of any kind cold peace in which the current front line will become the new border between Russia and Ukraine, as this will only legitimize Putin’s criminal enterprise,” stressed Scholz. “On the contrary, we must achieve just peace and the condition for that is the withdrawal of Russian troops” from Ukraine after the invasion that began in February 2022, he added.
The German Chancellor specifically declined to say whether that withdrawal should include Crimea, which Russia has occupied since 2014. Scholz said that Ukraine should determine for itself exactly what it wants.
The last time Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone for an hour was in December 2022. Then the head of the German government called on the Russian head of state to withdraw his troops from Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin accused the west that he leads a “confrontational” policy. Since then, bilateral relations have been at an all-time low.
The war in Ukraine forced Germany to make a painful and a spectacular diplomatic and economic turnaround, after decades of betting on rapprochement with Russia in both areas. Before the invasion of the neighboring country Moscow was the main supplier of gas for Germany and main supplier of petrol. Since its inception, Germany has decided to invest heavily in its armed forces, breaking with its long tradition of pacifist policy.