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Germany vows solidarity with Ukraine on war anniversary

February 24, 2023

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has pledged continued full support for Ukraine and offered doubts about China having a "constructive role" in the conflict.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at a commemorative event marking the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at Bellevue palace in Berlin
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier marked one year since Russia's all out invasion of Ukraine, at Bellevue palace in BerlinImage: Annegret Hilse/REUTERS

Steinmeier: European security order reduced 'to ashes'

At the central event in Berlin marking the anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed doubts about China having "a constructive role" in the conflict, calling its role "questionable."

He offered that if Beijing sought to end the conflict, China would "not only talk to Moscow, but also Beijing."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine one year on

What Steinmeier said about the conflict in Ukraine

Steinmeier pledged continued solidarity and support for Ukraine, noting: "Germany is today, also militarily, Ukraine's biggest supporter on the European continent. And despite all the controversial, sometimes shrill debates, I am certain: we will continue to be so."

Steinmeier continued, "Putin wants to win, with all his might — but the truth is: whoever authorizes murder and killing, whoever bombs Ukraine to pieces, destroys cities and abducts children, whoever even lets his own soldiers bleed to death senselessly day after day, will never stand before history as a victor, he has already lost."

The federal president was also keen to emphasize Germany is not at war but said it is an "epochal break that we are experiencing," forcing previously unimaginable choices and decisions for this current generation of German leaders.

"We are supplying weapons to a war zone, heavy weapons, and we are supporting Ukraine on a militarily unprecedented scale, with great effort and great seriousness," Steinmeier said.

In addition to Steinmeier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas and Bundesrat President Peter Tschentscher, as well as members of the Cabinet were present at Bellevue Palace for the commemoration.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to attendees via a video message, during a commemorative event marking the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at Bellevue palace in Berlin
Zelenskyy thanked Germany for its contribution to the war effort to repel invading Russian forcesImage: Annegret Hilse/REUTERS

Zelenskyy thanks Germany for its support

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Germany in a video message.

"Restore peace with our courage and weapons and create a historically important safeguard against any aggression," Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine was fighting on its territory for "fundamental security, freedom and a rule of law that respects human dignity and human rights," he said.

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ar/rt (AFP, KNA)