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German Chancellor Scholz to meet Putin in Moscow ‘soon’ – POLITICO

BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated he’ll “quickly” journey to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin amid what he known as a “very severe” scenario on the Ukrainian border.

“I’ll now journey to the U.S., and I’ll quickly be in Moscow to proceed talking in regards to the questions which can be vital,” Scholz told public broadcaster ZDF in an interview Wednesday night. Whereas he didn’t reveal a date for his Moscow journey, Scholz stated the assembly “is deliberate, and can occur quickly.”

The chancellor, who will journey to Washington on Sunday and Monday to meet U.S. President Joe Biden, additionally acknowledged that with about 130,000 troopers stationed close to the Ukraine border, the Russian president could possibly be prepared to invade his neighbor.

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“You possibly can’t overlook the truth that there are numerous troopers and troops on the Ukrainian border. All that could possibly be the precondition for navy motion,” Scholz stated. “That’s the reason it’s so essential that we’re very clear in what we’re saying and what we’re making ready — specifically that endangering the territorial sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine, attacking there militarily, may carry a really excessive worth. And I believe this message has been understood.”

Scholz’s remarks observe criticism each at house and overseas over his new authorities’s response to Russia’s navy build-up. Berlin has refused to ship defensive weapons to Ukraine, blocked the cargo of sure weapons by allies to the nation, and had lengthy proven reluctance to embody the Nord Stream 2 gasoline pipeline below a possible sanctions bundle ought to Russia invade — although the German chancellor has extra lately stated the pipeline can be on the desk if Moscow assaults.

He sought to counter this criticism Wednesday by stressing that he already spoke to Putin over the telephone and that his authorities was carefully coordinating its subsequent steps with different allies, together with Biden, with whom he stated he had “very thorough cooperation.”

When requested about accusations that Germany might not be a dependable companion, Scholz argued: “Our allies know precisely what they’ve in us,” and claimed Germany was making “a really excessive navy contribution” to NATO — although Berlin continues to fall wanting the alliance’s 2 p.c protection spending objective.

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“Germany is the nation that has given the largest assist to Ukraine in the final years, virtually €2 billion,” Scholz stated.

He stated his authorities is pursuing a “twin technique” towards Russia, warning Moscow of the implications of additional aggression towards Ukraine whereas additionally searching for a method to obtain a “peaceable growth” via talks.

“Plenty of residents in this nation are afraid of truly … having a struggle in Europe. It’s our widespread process to guarantee with this twin technique that it doesn’t come to that,” Scholz stated.

Whereas rifts have emerged inside his Social Democratic Occasion over how to cope with Russia, Scholz insisted the SPD is “very united, and it stands behind the coverage that the chancellor is pursuing, and it is vitally clear.”

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