Thousands of Russians in Cologne demand that Germany stop supporting Kiev as President Olaf Scholz accepts the Ukrainian prime minister.

About 2,000 Russians from Germany took part in a march in Cologne on Sunday, calling on leaders in Berlin to end support for Ukraine and drop sanctions on Russia. It all happened when President Olaf Scholes was welcoming Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal to Berlin.

International press agencies note that many of the pro-Russian demonstrators carried Russian flags or NATO placards and crossed the red line.

Another, much larger demonstration took place in Prague on Saturday, with tens of thousands of people protesting against NATO and the European Union. The organizers of the demonstration, members of some radical political forces – the extreme right and the Communist Party -, the Czech Republic, which currently holds the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union, are militarily neutral and – protect direct contracts with gas suppliers, including Russia. The Czech Prime Minister responded by saying that the protests were organized by Russian-backed forces.

Pro-Russian demonstrators in Cologne call on Germany to end aid to Ukraine and lift sanctions against Moscow Photo: Profimedia Images

In Germany, Elina Kolpaznikova, one of the organizers of the Cologne march, reiterated Vladimir Putin’s view that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was to protect the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. “Germany is in disarray,” he declared. “How shall we survive this winter?” said a representative of the Russian diaspora, referring to the energy crisis.

Despite relying heavily on Russian energy sources, Germany “can handle this winter”, Olaf Scholz assured Sunday, after Russian giant Gazprom announced on Friday that it would cut off gas supplies through the Nord Stream gas pipeline. A new technological failure.

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About 3 million people of Russian descent live in Germany, and many of them are heavily exposed to the Kremlin’s doctrines through state-controlled Russian television, which is widely available in Germany. Reuters. Organizers of the march collected donations for Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Pro-Russian demonstration in Cologne, Germany - 04 September 2022
Russians rally in Cologne met by pro-Ukrainian counter-demonstrators Photo: Profimedia Images

The Russians’ march was met by dozens of counter-protesters, who gathered near Cologne Cathedral to show their support for Ukraine, Agerpres reports.

Olaf Scholz pledged support to Ukraine’s prime minister

In Berlin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Schmihal on Sunday, assuring him that Germany would not reduce its support for Kyiv at the military, political, financial and humanitarian levels.

scholz smihal profimedia-0719405283
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal is welcomed in Berlin by President Olaf Scholes Photo: Profimedia Images

Although the war was ongoing, Scholz noted that it was important to plan now for the reconstruction of the country. “We must be prepared for this long-term task,” the chancellor said in a statement released by the German administration after a meeting between the two heads of government.

In this regard, the German Chancellor recalled that his country, as Executive Chairman of the G7, together with Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, will organize an expert-level conference in Berlin on October 25. The orientation and architecture required for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the end of the Russian military occupation.

Given Ukraine’s EU candidate status, Scholz stressed that Ukraine should implement reforms related to the rule of law and judicial system in order to attract investments for the country’s reconstruction.

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For his part, the Ukrainian prime minister thanked Germany for its cash and weapons aid, but asked for more involvement at the EU level to boost Ukraine’s reconstruction. Kiev hopes to receive five billion euros in financial aid from the European Union this week, which is intended to support the economy and the Ukrainian military.

Author: Luana Pavaluka

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