Chancellor says one cannot talk about peace negotiations while Russia is sending new troops to front
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday voiced skepticism about proposed peace talks with Russia and pledged Germany’s continued military support to Ukraine.
“The Russian war of aggression is continuing. They are recruiting new troops and sending them to the front,” Scholz told a news conference in Berlin, adding that one cannot talk about negotiations under these conditions.
His remarks came in response to a question about veteran German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger’s recent proposal to launch a peace initiative to end the war.
“Ukraine is ready for peace, but of course that cannot be a dictated peace. You cannot negotiate when somebody points a gun at your head. But that is what the Russian president still intends to do,” Scholz said.
He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of waging a cruel war against Ukraine that resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians and soldiers.
“In Russia, too, many mothers and fathers mourn for their children who died for this disastrous war, for the imperialist plans of the Russian president,” he said.
Scholz underlined that Germany will continue providing military support to Ukraine together with the allies.
“What we are currently doing aims at changing the situation and make a just peace possible for Ukraine,” he said.
Ischinger calls for peace process
Ischinger, former head of the Munich Security Conference, warned on Monday that one cannot end the war by providing further military support to Ukraine and called for stepping up diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution.
“We should initiate a process to work out a peaceful solution for Ukraine. And we should do this now,” he wrote in a guest article for the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
He also proposed setting up a “political-strategic contact group” among countries that can contribute to a peaceful solution.
Ischinger said this group should examine elements of a possible peace plan, develop negotiation strategies, and prepare draft texts in coordination with the Ukrainian authorities.