Olaf Scholes announced a condition that Vladimir Putin must meet to start negotiations

“In my opinion, it is important to understand that Putin will not succeed with this invasion and his imperialist aggression – he must withdraw his forces. This is the basis for peace negotiations,” Scholz said.

The head of the German government added that he believes Ukraine is “ready for peace.”

“If you look at the proposal of the Ukrainians, it is easy to understand that they are ready for peace. Something has to be done. Putin has to do it,” said Scholz.

Asked by journalist Fareed Zakaria if an agreement could be reached to end the war if Ukraine agreed not to retake Crimea or parts of the eastern Donbass region, Scholz said no decision would be made without Ukraine’s side.

“We don’t make decisions for them. We support them,” he said.

However, Zakaria asked the president if he would encourage Ukraine to consider such an agreement. “I told them (Ukrainians) that we can continue the process of joining the European Union. They are working to make progress on all the criteria that are important for this. I think they know that we are ready to establish some security guarantees for their country in future peacetime, but we are not there yet,” he said. Sholes replied.

The German chancellor met US President Joe Biden in Washington on Friday, 12 months after Germany underwent its most significant shift in military and energy policy in decades.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has made Scholz, who took office two months before Moscow’s invasion, the crisis-management chief overseeing Europe’s largest economy and strongest democracy during the worst violence on the continent since World War II.

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The war thrust Scholz and Biden into one of the world’s most important relationships — between Washington and Berlin — buoyed by shared opposition to Russia’s invasion, but at times struggling with how to respond.

“You offered to provide essential military support. Beyond military support, I would say the moral support you gave to the Ukrainians was profound. Deep,” Biden told the German chancellor in the Oval Office this week.

Photo: EPA

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