“Germany will never recognise the results of the sham referendums” in the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, Scholz told Zelensky, according to the chancellor’s spokesman Steffen Hebestreit.
Kremlin-installed authorities in the four Ukrainian regions under Russian control on Tuesday claimed victory in the votes, saying that preliminary results show a majority in favour of being annexed by Moscow.
Scholz and Zelensky discussed “possibilities for further support” from Germany, including the reconstruction of Ukraine, Hebestreit said in a read-out of the phone call.
Scholz stressed that Germany would not “relent in its concrete political, financial and humanitarian support for Ukraine, as well as the defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, including arms supplies”, Hebestreit said.
Scholz has come under increasing pressure domestically and from abroad to boost German weapons supplies to Ukraine.
While Germany has provided Kyiv’s forces with armaments such as rockets and anti-aircraft tanks, it has so far declined a request to provide Ukraine with Western-made battle tanks and infantry-fighting vehicles.
Ukraine has said the best response to the annexation votes would be to increase sanctions against Russia and deliver more weapons to sustain its fight-back.
“Ukraine calls on the EU, NATO and the Group of Seven to immediately and significantly increase pressure on Russia, including by imposing tough sanctions and significantly increase their military aid to Ukraine,” Ukraine’s foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday.