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Ukraine war: Olaf Scholz says Vladimir Putin does not see war as mistake


(BBC) Russian President Vladimir Putin does not realise the invasion of Ukraine is a mistake, German chancellor Olaf Scholz has said, after the leaders spoke on the phone today.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Scholz said he urged Mr Putin to withdraw troops and re-enter talks with Ukraine during the 90-minute call.

He called for Russia to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine.

The chancellor has come under pressure to increase military support for Kyiv.

Mr Scholz said the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine would be the only way for “peace to have a chance in the region”.

Although he said Mr Putin “unfortunately” had not changed his position on the invasion, Mr Scholz emphasised the importance of continuing to talk to him.

“It is right to speak with each other and to say what there is to say on this subject,” Mr Scholz said.

The weapons Germany had supplied to Ukraine had been “decisive” and “made the difference” for developments in eastern Ukraine, he added.

The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has criticised Germany for not sending more weapons. He wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that Ukraine needed more military support “to liberate people and save them from genocide”.

“Not a single rational argument on why these weapons cannot be supplied, only abstract fears and excuses. What is Berlin afraid of that Kyiv is not?” he added.

Commenting on the phone call with Mr Scholz, the Kremlin blamed Ukraine for the continued violence.

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