Chancellor Olaf Scholz is dampening expectations of a quick peace solution for Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia. It has now been possible to bring important states to the table and we are working together to advance the principles for a peace solution, said Scholz in Berlin.
But: "That takes effort and time. Time that we don't actually have because Russia continues to bomb, torture and kill in Ukraine." But working for peace requires patience.
Withdrawal of Russian troops as a basis for peace
Scholz called the basis for peace "the understanding of the Russian leadership that it is also about the withdrawal of troops. Then there will also be the opportunity for talks, and the Ukrainian government will take part in them, I am sure."
The Chancellor contradicted “narratives” that a completed peace agreement had already been negotiated between Ukraine and Russia in the spring of 2022, shortly after the start of the war, but had been prevented by the USA or Great Britain. “No, that’s not true,” said Scholz.
Both sides were still talking to each other. "But everything that might have been possible as an understanding was ruined because the Russian president only used the time to lead his troops around Ukraine after the failed attack on the capital Kiev and to continue the attack on the country East of Ukraine". These negotiations were no longer successful.
Continue to support Ukraine
Scholz once again defended German arms deliveries to Ukraine. “We will continue to support Ukraine in its right to self-defense for as long as necessary,” emphasized the Chancellor. "I think this is not only necessary politically and strategically, but also necessary in terms of peace ethics."
Scholz made the comments in a speech at the International Peace Meeting of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Berlin. The community was founded in Rome in 1968 and has since developed into a network of Christian laypeople with tens of thousands of followers. Their three-day congress under the motto "Dare for Peace" has been running since Sunday and brings together up to 1,000 participants from 33 countries in various dialogue forums.
Scholz again without an eye patch after the accident
A good week after his sports accident, Chancellor Olaf Scholz appeared in public for the first time without an eye patch at the meeting. Traces of his accident were no longer visible on his face.
The 65-year-old Scholz fell while jogging and fell on his face. Since then, he has worn a black eye patch because of his facial injuries, including at the G20 meeting in India.
Resist the “fear mongers and populists” when it comes to migration
Scholz also commented on migration at the International Peace Meeting. He is concerned about social support for accepting refugees in Germany. It is an imperative of humanity to take in women and men fleeing war and political persecution.
“And at the same time we have to ensure that acceptance for this is maintained in our societies,” said Scholz in Berlin. This is important "if we want to counter the big simplifiers, the black and white painters, the fear mongers and the populists."
In response to a question about the different approach to accepting war refugees from Ukraine and other people seeking protection, the Chancellor said: "There is no different support practice for those fleeing Ukraine and others."
What is different is that the reason for people from Ukraine to flee is clear, namely the Russian war of aggression. “We have to determine this in detail for the other refugees.” It is important that this happens quickly. The SPD politician said that progress had been made. The authorities' decision is now made six to seven months after the application is submitted. That is relatively short compared to international standards.