Steinmeier reaffirms Germany’s solidarity with Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) – To mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has pledged to provide further comprehensive aid for the attacked country. Today, Germany is Ukraine’s largest supporter on the European continent, also in military terms, the German head of state said on Friday in Berlin. “And despite all the heated, indeed sometimes shrill debates, I am certain that we will remain so.” Looking ahead to what is still to come, he said: “You can rely on Germany.” Steinmeier repeated this sentence in Ukrainian.

If Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin is serious about wanting to end the war, his troops must withdraw from Ukraine , he continued. “Russia must fully realise that there can be no victory in its criminal war.” Steinmeier said that Putin wanted victory and was doing everything in his power to achieve his goal, but that the truth was: “Anyone who orders murders and killings, who orders Ukraine to be destroyed by bombs, cities to be devastated and children abducted, anyone who allows their own soldiers to senselessly bleed to death day after day will never go down in history as a victor. They have already lost!”

In a recorded video message, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Germany for its support in the first year of the war. “Germany was with us from the first minutes of the Russian invasion. Germany is helping us protect Ukraine against Russian terror. And Germany will be with us on the day of victory for freedom.”

The German government is supporting Ukraine in many different ways. Its military aid includes heavy weapons, with Marder infantry fighting vehicles and Leopard 2 battle tanks also to be supplied in the near future. The suffering population has also been supported with large quantities of civilian goods such as food, generators and emergency shelters. Furthermore, Germany has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine, above all women and children. As part of the sanctions against Russia, it has restructured its energy supply system, which was previously heavily reliant on Russia, and today no longer buys any gas or oil from there.

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