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Ukraine’s Zelenskyy thanks Germany for support in visit to Berlin

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (left) says goodbye to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (proper), as he departs the Bellevue Palace on Might 14, 2023, in Berlin.

Pool | Getty Pictures Information | Getty Pictures

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Germany for its help as he met with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday in his first go to to the nation since Russia’s invasion.

Zelenskyy arrived in Berlin from Rome, the place he met individually on Saturday with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Pope Francis. The pope indicated that the Vatican would assist in the repatriation of Ukrainian youngsters taken by Russians.

He flew on a German authorities airplane escorted over German airspace by fighter jets of the Luftwaffe air pressure, arriving in the midst of the night time.

“In probably the most difficult time within the trendy historical past of Ukraine, Germany proud to be our true pal and dependable ally,” Zelenskyy wrote within the visitor ebook of the German presidency. “Collectively we are going to win and produce peace again to Europe.”

Zelenskyy was anticipated to satisfy later with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his safety cupboard earlier than heading to Aachen in west Germany to obtain the celebrated Charlemagne prize in honour of providers to Europe.

Germany, which is Europe’s largest economic system, confronted criticism firstly of the warfare for what some known as a hesitant response, however it has change into certainly one of Ukraine’s greatest suppliers of monetary and army help.

The federal government introduced 2.7 billion euro ($3 billion) of army assist to Ukraine on Saturday, its greatest such bundle but since Russia’s invasion in February final 12 months, and pledged additional help for Kyiv for so long as vital.

Zelenskyy hailed this as a “highly effective bundle” in a tweet, indicating that he aimed to debate weapons provide in addition to air defence, reconstruction, Ukraine’s candidacy for membership of the European Union and safety with German officers.

Zelenskyy final visited Germany for the Munich Safety Council in February final 12 months simply earlier than the warfare broke out.

Germany was constrained in its help for Ukraine at the moment each by its power dependence on Russia and a pacifism rooted in its bloody twentieth century historical past.

This required a serious coverage upheaval and a shift in mindset that Scholz dubbed a “Zeitenwende” or flip of period, in a landmark speech simply days after the warfare broke out.