Scholz ‘certain’ Putin ‘will not achieve goals’ in Ukraine

BERLIN: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday it was clear almost a year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that Moscow would not win and assured the war-torn country its future was in the EU.

“(President Vladimir) Putin will not achieve his goals — not on the battlefield and not through a dictated peace. That much, at least, is certain after a year of war,“ Scholz said in a speech to parliament.

“Ukraine belongs to Europe, its future lies in the European Union. And this promise holds true,“ Scholz said on the eve of a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.

The chancellor said Germany had provided 12 billion ($12.9 billion) euros of aid to Ukraine in 2022 and would continue to offer support in 2023.

However, as President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Britain to an offer of training for Ukrainian fighter jet pilots and marines, Scholz said he would not engage in a “competition” to support Kyiv.

Scholz has repeatedly stressed that his country would not “go it alone” to provide weapons for Ukraine without the support of its allies, especially the US.

Germany last month agreed to provide powerful Leopard 2 battle tanks for Kyiv after weeks of intense pressure, but only as the US also agreed to send its Abrams tanks.

“Cohesion within our alliances is our most valuable asset,“ Scholz said.

“What harms our unity, on the other hand, is a public competition to outdo each other along the lines of battle tanks, submarines, aircraft,“ he said.

“Because any dissonance, any speculation about possible differences of interest, only benefits Putin and his propaganda.” – AFP