German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in an article written for the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, said that Europe knew from the beginning that sanctions against Russia would be in place for a long time.
“It was clear to us from the very beginning that the sanctions would have to be maintained for a long time,” the politician wrote.
He repeated his statement, made in May in an interview with the ZDF television channel, that the West would not agree to the lifting of sanctions in the event of a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian conflict on “conditions imposed by Russia.”
At the same time, he acknowledged that most Germans are suffering from the consequences of the restrictions, including the high cost of gasoline and food.
“This path is not easy even for such a strong, prosperous country as ours,” Scholz added.
The article states that “the world economy is facing a challenge that has not been seen for decades,” and no country in the world can stand alone against such a development.
In this regard, Scholz called for the unity of the EU countries in policy towards Russia, noting that the EU has already demonstrated it.
“But we must not rest on our laurels,” he explained, adding that the EU must come to an agreement in other areas.
“For me, this means: no more selfish blockades of European decisions by individual member states. No more national single efforts that harm Europe as a whole,” he stressed.
In his words, “we simply can no longer afford a national veto, for example, in foreign policy, if we want to continue to be heard in a world of competing great powers.”
As reported, the EU Foreign Affairs Council will be held on Monday in Brussels. He plans to work in connection with the Ukrainian situation in three areas: support for Ukraine, sanctions against the Russian Federation, informing the international community about the consequences of the conflict, a source in the EU said.
“On the first part, we believe that there will be a discussion of additional military support for Ukraine,” a senior EU official told reporters on condition of anonymity, briefing them on the agenda of the ministerial meeting on Friday.
“There will be a discussion on sanctions (against the Russian Federation). We are preparing a number of measures,” the media interlocutor continued. He confirmed that during the discussion, council members will discuss a proposal to ban Russian exports of gold.
At the same time, the official noted that “we do not expect any decision on sanctions on Monday.”
With regard to military assistance to Kyiv, Brussels expects from the EU Council a “political decision” of the member states on the fifth tranche in accordance with the instructions of the European Council.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz rejects the possibility of lifting sanctions against Minsk in exchange for the transit of grain from Ukraine through Belarus.
“This in no way means that we should abandon the sanctions that we imposed on Lukashenka,” Scholz said in Vilnius on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, Latvian and Estonian Prime Ministers Krisjanis Karins and Kaja Kallas .
According to the chancellor, Western countries are looking for ways to safely export these agricultural products from Ukraine in order to avoid food shortages in the world.
“It is Russia’s responsibility that grain cannot be taken out of Ukraine (. . .). We will try to find a solution, the UN is also trying to find a solution,” Scholz said.
He also noted that when unblocking the port of Odessa, it is necessary to ensure that “Russia does not abuse such decisions.”
The possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain through Belarus was previously rejected by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk invited German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to visit Ukraine and speak in the Ukrainian parliament, the press service of the Verkhovna Rada office reports.
“Scholz thanked for this invitation, and I really hope that he will accept it,” Stefanchuk said in an interview with the ARD television channel, commenting on the results of the meeting with Scholz.
“Germany is the leader of the EU, and Germany’s opinion on Ukraine’s EU candidacy is very important. I think that I was able to dispel all the skeptical fears of Olaf Scholz and I really hope for his positive decision at the European Council summit,” the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada added.
Germany plans to stop importing Russian coal by autumn, this will be possible at the expense of other suppliers, including South Africa.
“This is something that is quite real,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters on Tuesday in Pretoria, where he is visiting. He is quoted by the German media.
Earlier in April, during a visit to Latvia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock said that Germany would gradually stop buying Russian energy resources, in particular, by the end of the year it would completely stop importing Russian oil. From coal imports, Burbock said, it is planned to stop before the end of the summer.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, received information about the “current situation and the negotiation process” between Russia and Ukraine, according to a press release from the German government.
“The chancellor was informed about the current situation (in Ukraine) and about the negotiation process between Ukraine and Russia, designed to end the conflict,” the document says.
Scholz and Zelensky also discussed “concrete, practical ways” to provide further assistance to Ukraine and “agreed to remain in close contact.”
In addition, according to the document, Scholz “expressed condolences in connection with the death of the first president of independent Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk.”
Germany, which recently provided Ukraine with a EUR150 million loan, is rapidly preparing another such loan, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the High-Level International Donor Conference for Ukraine in Warsaw on Thursday.
“We will provide much-needed liquidity to the budget of Ukraine. Recently, a special loan of EUR150 million was allocated. Another loan of EUR150 million is being prepared on an accelerated basis,” he said.
Scholz added that, as part of bilateral development cooperation, Germany had already provided EUR122 million to Ukraine to address the economic and social consequences of the war. “And we intend to provide another EUR140 million for development financing,” the chancellor said.