Zelensky to Scholz: You can't balance between Ukraine and Russia

Zelensky to Scholz: You can't balance between Ukraine and Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he expects Germany to more clearly define its priorities in relations with Russia and support Ukraine in its EU membership aspirations during Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit to Kyiv.

The head of state stated this in an interview with the Heute Journal program on Germany's ZDF television channel, Ukrinform reports.

"I expect that he [Olaf Scholz] will personally support us and that he will be personally confident that Ukraine can join the EU and that candidate status will be granted to Ukraine as early as June," Zelensky said.

According to him, Kyiv expects assurances from Scholz that Germany will support Ukraine.

"He and his government have to make a decision. You can't try a balancing act between Ukraine and relations with Russia, you have to choose for yourself where to set the priorities," Zelensky stressed.

He said that Germany faces many economic challenges and it is difficult to choose a side because it will be painful. "It will be economically painful regardless of whether you choose the Ukrainian or the Russian side. If you choose the less painful way, it is a wrong approach," the politician said.

Zelensky noted that there is a certain skepticism in the relationship between the German leadership and Ukraine, even before the Chancellery of Olaf Scholz, amid wonderful relations between the two peoples and quite good relations between the leaders of both countries. This skepticism, in his opinion, is expressed primarily when it comes to Ukraine's future membership of the EU and NATO. At the same time, Zelensky is confident that this attitude will change.

Commenting on Scholz's statements about very large amounts of military aid provided by Germany to Ukraine, Zelensky noted that Germany and France "were a little late" in the provision of weapons to Ukraine, although they immediately supported Ukraine politically.

"But back then, at the beginning of the war, we didn't need politics, we needed help," Zelensky said.

He said that the end of the war depends on Russia's willingness to bring the war to an end. The stronger Ukraine is, the better armed the Ukrainian Armed Forces are, the sooner they will advance and drive Russian troops out of Ukraine, and the sooner Russia will be ready to end the war, Zelensky said.

"The sooner Ukraine is strengthened, the sooner Europe acts as one in sanctions to cut off Russia from large flows of financial flows, the weaker Russia will be," Zelensky said.

Regarding the talks with Moscow, Zelensky noted that now, unlike before, he is not looking for opportunities to find a balance to "somehow reach an agreement." "We have no doubts. We are only ready to talk if the other side is ready to end the war. We don't have time for talks that are useless," he said.

He also rebuked the West for not listening to Ukraine's warnings regarding the need for preventive sanctions, the strategy on the Black Sea, the creation of the Black Sea Fleet with a partner country, the creation of an air defense system and more.

"If I had been heard, Ukraine would have had a better chance of stopping the invasion by the Russian Federation," Zelensky said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz may pay a visit to Kyiv this week. However, he has not yet announced the date for the trip.

Photo: President's Office

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