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German opposition chief visits Kyiv, Scholz refuses to go

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KYIV, Ukraine — Germany’s conservative opposition chief traveled to Kyiv on Tuesday for conferences with Ukrainian officers together with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz made clear that he wouldn’t be visiting Ukraine any time quickly.

Scholz has traded barbs with Ukrainian officers in current weeks due to Kyiv’s refusal to ask Germany’s head of state, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whom Ukraine accuses of cozying as much as Russia throughout his time as overseas minister.

“It might probably’t work {that a} nation that gives a lot army help, a lot monetary help … you then say that the president can’t come,” Scholz advised public broadcaster ZDF late Monday.

Ukraine’s ambassador in Berlin, Andrij Melnyk, responded Tuesday by calling Scholz’s refusal to go to “not very statesmanlike.”

“That is about essentially the most brutal struggle of extermination for the reason that Nazi invasion of Ukraine, it’s not kindergarten,” he mentioned.

German opposition chief Friedrich Merz, who heads former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc, visited the city of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, to see the destruction attributable to the Russian military.

Chatting with reporters in opposition to a backdrop of shelled buildings, Merz expressed his “full admiration” to the Ukrainian army for having halted the Russian advance at Irpin, and pledged to assist the city rebuild.

German every day Bild reported that Merz later met for an hour with Zelenskyy at his presidential workplace. Merz’ go to to Kyiv comes days earlier than two German state elections through which his Christian Democratic Union is hoping to retain energy.

The Union bloc joined Germany’s three governing events in a non-binding vote backing the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine final week. German media report that the federal government is planning to approve additional armaments for Ukraine quickly, together with massive self-propelled howitzers.

Critics, notably on the far-left and proper, have argued in opposition to offering weapons to Ukraine, saying Germany dangers being drawn right into a battle with Russia.

German authorities say they’ve recorded the arrival of some 400,000 refugees from Ukraine for the reason that begin of the struggle.

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