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Zelensky arrives in Berlin to meet Scholz and address Bundestag

AFP
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Zelensky arrives in Berlin to meet Scholz and address Bundestag
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky shake hands at the end of a joint press conference following their meeting on May 14, 2023 at the Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: John MACDOUGALL/AFP.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday night announced his arrival in Germany for talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and to participate in a conference on Ukrainian reconstruction.

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"Chancellor Scholz and I will discuss further defence assistance, the expansion of Ukraine's air defence system, and joint arms production" ahead of a major peace summit in Switzerland this weekend, Zelensky wrote on X.

Berlin recently authorised Ukraine to use German weapons to strike targets in Russia, having long refused to do so for fear of provoking an escalation of the war with Russia.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Germany abandoned its traditional position of pacifism and became the second largest supplier of military equipment to Kyiv after the United States.

Zelensky is due to participate on Tuesday and Wednesday in a conference on reconstructing Ukraine, which will be attended by 10 prime ministers, other government representatives and the private sector. He is also scheduled to address the German Bundestag.

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"In the face of Russia's air terror, urgent solutions for Ukraine's energy sector will be our top priority," said Zelensky.

"I will also meet with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bundestag President Barbel Bas, as well as visit a military base where our servicemen are training," he added.

Zelensky will then head to Switzerland to participate in a conference on achieving peace in Ukraine due to be attended by 90 countries and organisations, although Russia was not invited and China will not attend.

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