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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.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Germany for its assist 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 kids 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 course of the evening.

“In essentially the most difficult time within the fashionable historical past of Ukraine, Germany proud to be our true good friend 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 fulfill later with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his safety cupboard earlier than heading to Aachen in west Germany to obtain the distinguished Charlemagne prize in honour of providers to Europe.

Germany, which is Europe’s largest financial system, confronted criticism firstly of the battle for what some referred to as a hesitant response, but it surely has develop into one among Ukraine’s greatest suppliers of monetary and army help.

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

Zelenskyy hailed this as a “highly effective package deal” 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 yr simply earlier than the battle broke out.

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

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