Scholz explains why he keeps talking to Putin

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said he keeps talking to Moscow as he wants to see the ongoing conflict resolved

Scholz explains why he keeps talking to Putin

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said he keeps talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin because he wants to see the day when finding a solution for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine would finally be possible. Such a moment would hardly come if the sides stopped talking to each other, the chancellor told a public press conference in the German city of Potsdam on Saturday.

“I’ll keep talking to him,” Scholz said when asked if he would continue to engage in conversations with the Russian president. “I want to live to see the moment when it is possible to get out of the [current] situation,” he told the audience, adding that “you can’t do that if you do not talk to each other.”

Scholz also praised Putin’s good command of German and said that the Russian leader has always stayed “polite” during their conversations. Scholz also claimed that Putin’s position has changed in many ways since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February, while still accusing Moscow of a desire to “conquer a part of the Ukrainian territory by force.”

The chancellor’s comments came just over a week after his last phone call with Putin, which took place on December 2. According to the Kremlin, Putin and Scholz discussed “different aspects of the situation around Ukraine,” and the Russian president explained Moscow’s position on the issue “in detail.” He also pointed to the “destructive” policies of the Western nations “pumping” Ukraine full of arms. Such actions, along with financial support, caused Kiev to dismiss the idea of talks, according to Putin at the time.

Berlin said that Scholz “condemned the Russian airstrikes” against what he called “civilian infrastructure in Ukraine” and “underscored Germany's determination to support Ukraine” by ensuring it has “capabilities” to defend itself against what the chancellor called “Russian aggression.”

Back in October, Scholz told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio broadcaster that the tone of his conversations with Putin “is always friendly, even if we have very different views on the matter.” At the same time, he warned that one shouldn’t “harbor any illusions” about those contacts bringing swift results.

In October, the German chancellor also dismissed the reports about Putin allegedly threatening to escalate the conflict. “The reports that I read about the alleged threats during these negotiations are false,” he said back then.