First visit to Germany since the invasion began

First visit to Germany since the invasion began

After the United States, Poland, the United Kingdom, France, Brussels and today Finland, Germany will also receive a visit from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. At the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Zelensky will travel to Berlin on May 13 for the first time since the start of the Ukraine War, where he is likely to advocate for more German arms support for Ukraine. German media reported the visit on Wednesday afternoon. German police confirmed the news.

Germany is the largest financial and humanitarian donor to Ukraine in absolute terms among the EU countries and plays a major role in military support. However, the latter is off to a slow start, and last year was often slower than promised. This led to harsh criticism from Kiev and the Western allies. At the end of January, tensions rose over the delivery of Leopard 2 main battle tanks. Germany eventually gave in after the United States promised to send some Abrams tanks.

In March last year, Zelensky criticized the Bundestag in a speech via video link. He blamed Germany for being too slow to provide assistance and pave the way for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Under former Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany has in the past staunchly opposed EU-NATO candidate membership for Ukraine. Germany has also made itself dependent on Russian gas, earning Moscow billions of euros.

In December, Zelensky made his first foreign trip to Washington since the beginning of the war. In February he appeared successively in London, Paris, Brussels and the Polish city of Rzeszów. On Wednesday, Zelensky appeared in Helsinki, where he met the Finnish president, Scandinavian leaders and Iceland’s prime minister.

Germany correspondent Remko Andersen

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