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Scholz says Germany will support Ukraine for as long as necessary

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FILED - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reacts during a press conference at the Chancellor's Office. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

By Stefan Heinemeyer, dpa

Nine months after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has assured Ukraine that Germany will support the country for as long as necessary.

“Ukraine can count on us to continue to provide it with extensive financial and humanitarian assistance and also weapons support for as long as it will be necessary,” Scholz said in an interview with the German magazine Focus published on Friday.

Germany is one of the countries providing the most aid to Ukraine. This also applies to arms deliveries. The self-propelled howitzers and Gepard (Cheetah) anti-aircraft tanks delivered by Berlin are very effective.

The chancellor also referred to multiple rocket launchers and the IRIS-T aerial defence system.

Scholz did not want to speculate on how long the war would last, but stressed: “Russia must not win this war”. And there must be no use of nuclear weapons, the international community of states had made that unmistakeably clear.

Asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was a war criminal, Scholz replied: “The war in Ukraine violates all rules of international law, and Vladimir Putin is responsible for this war. Incredibly cruel war crimes have been committed there. We will help to solve the crimes, identify those responsible and hold them to account.”

Scholz said that Russia’s current strategy in the war is not working. The Russian military’s attempt to break the Ukrainian spirit of resistance with heavy missile attacks is clearly not succeeding, despite the terrible destruction.

He also said that Russia’s hope that a mass movement of refugees fleeing Ukraine might jeopardize the support of European countries “is also proving to be a mistake.”

However, it was unclear what conclusions Russia would draw from its failure, he added. “Right now, one cannot make any reliable predictions,” Scholz said.

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