Western allies discussing 'security guarantees' with Kyiv: Scholz
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Thursday that Germany and its allies were in talks with Kyiv over future security guarantees in preparation of a sustainable peace for Ukraine.
"We are speaking with Kyiv and other partners over future security guarantees for Ukraine," Scholz said in a speech to the German parliament.
"Such security guarantees however come with the presumption that Ukraine successfully defends itself in this war," said Scholz, who will travel to the United States for talks with President Joe Biden Friday.
Germany and some other allies increasingly had doubts about Ukraine's ability to retake all its territory from Russia, US newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported at the end of February.
Several Western partners saw the offer of security guarantees and better access to sophisticated military equipment as a way to encourage Kyiv to enter peace talks with Russia, the paper said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was not ready for talks over a "just peace" and an end to the war, Scholz said in his speech, renewing calls for Moscow to withdraw its troops.
"Nothing suggests" that Putin would come to the negotiating table at the moment, Scholz said.
Instead, the Russian leader was relying on "threats", such as the suspension of Moscow's participation in the New START nuclear arms control pact, he said.
Scholz's speech came just over a year after Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, precipitating the chancellor to announce a new era in German defence and foreign policy.
Germany has upped investments in its own military, unwound its economic ties with Russia and broken its taboos over sending weapons into conflict zones.
Berlin continued to "expand its support" for Ukraine, sending more arms to Kyiv, including the recently announced delivery of German-made battle tanks.
Scholz also used the speech to warn China against arming Russia in its war against Ukraine, following US claims Beijing was considering such a move.
"My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to push for the withdrawal of Russian troops," Scholz said.
"And do not supply weapons to the aggressor Russia," he added.