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Germany’s Scholz says he hasn’t talked to Putin since December 2022

by editor

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz hasn’t spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin since December 2022, he revealed in an interview published Thursday.

“Our last phone call was in December 2022 — before that we used to speak more frequently,” Scholz said.

Just days before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Scholz had visited Putin in Moscow where they sat at an “eternally long table,” he recalled in Thursday’s interview, adding that Putin “was worried about the coronavirus.”

Scholz said that after the outbreak of all-out war, Russia and Ukraine tried negotiating — but Moscow wasn’t serious. “The talks failed because Russia only used them as a pretext to move its troops to the east for a major offensive at the same time,” said Scholz.

The German chancellor, who has often been criticized because he refuses to send long-range Taurus missiles to help Ukraine, defended himself: “We will do everything we can to ensure that the war does not escalate.

“At the same time, Germany is supporting Ukraine with weapons and ammunition more than any other country in Europe. We spend more than €28 billion on this alone. More than many other countries combined.”

Pledging that Germany will “continue to do so for as long as necessary,” he added that Putin should not count on support for Ukraine dwindling with time.

Scholz added that the power to end the war lies in Putin’s hands: “Let me make one thing very clear: peace is possible at any time. Putin just has to stop his barbaric campaign and withdraw his troops.”

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