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Germany’s Olaf Scholz flying to Ukraine, Russia in last-ditch diplomatic bid

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday — before heading to Moscow to talk with Russian leader Vladimir Putin — as part of a last-ditch bid at diplomacy.

Scholz last week renewed his threat to Putin that there will be “consequences” for any military assault on Ukraine, Germany’s southwestern neighbor.

“It is our job to ensure that we prevent a war in Europe, in that we send a clear message to Russia that any military aggression would have consequences that would be very high for Russia and its prospects, and that we are united with our allies,” Scholz said.

Both of Scholz’s trips this week will be to sound out how to secure peace, which faces a “very, very serious threat,” he said, calling on Russia to de-escalate.

“Military aggression against Ukraine that endangers its territorial integrity and sovereignty will result in hard reactions and sanctions that we have carefully prepared and that we can put into effect immediately, together with our allies in Europe and NATO,” he said in brief remarks to reporters.

Berlin does not expect concrete results from the discussions, a government source acknowledged to Reuters.

Moscow wants guarantees from the West that NATO won’t allow Ukraine and other former Soviet countries to join as members, and for the alliance to halt weapon deployments to Ukraine and roll back its forces from Eastern Europe.

Scholz will first meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and then Russian President Vladimir Putin.
AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool, File
Satellite footage of Russian military equipment in Yelna, Russia on February 12, 2022.
Satellite footage of Russian military equipment in Yelna, Russia on February 12, 2022.
Planet Labs PBC via AP
Scholz has warned Putin about "consequences" if Russia decides to invade Ukraine.
Scholz has warned Putin about “consequences” if Russia decides to invade Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File

The US and NATO — of which which Germany is a member — have rejected these demands.

With Post wires

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