Scholz called on Putin for a diplomatic solution on Ukraine

The German chancellor phoned the Russian president a week after speaking with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky. Scholz and Putin talked for 90 minutes

Olaf Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin following a conversation with Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky last week, according to the website of the German government. The conversation lasted 90 minutes.

Scholz urged Putin to “find a diplomatic solution as soon as possible, based on a ceasefire, the complete withdrawal of Russian troops, and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.” The chancellor warned that any further steps by Moscow “will not go unanswered and will not be recognized under any circumstances.” In addition, he asked that prisoners of war be treated in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions, and that the International Committee of the Red Cross be allowed unhindered access.

Scholz also touched upon the situation at the Zaporozhye NPP, emphasizing the need to ensure its safety. “In this context, the Federal Chancellor called for the avoidance of any escalation steps and the immediate implementation of the measures recommended in the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” the message says.

In addition, the parties touched upon the food situation in the world. The head of the German government emphasized the important role of the grain agreement under the auspices of the UN and called on the interlocutor “not to discredit the agreement and continue to implement it in full.”

The Chancellor and the President of Russia agreed to maintain contacts.

The Kremlin press service, in turn, reported that Putin, in particular, “sharpened attention” Scholz “on egregious violations” Kyiv of international humanitarian law and the ongoing shelling of Donbass.

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“Issues of ensuring the safety of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) were discussed. The President of Russia spoke in detail about the measures taken in coordination with the IAEA to ensure the physical protection of the ZNPP, which is subjected to constant missile attacks from Ukraine, which creates real risks of a large-scale catastrophe,— the message says.

The head of state also drew the interlocutor's attention to the fact that only a small part of Ukrainian grain goes to the most needy countries. At the same time, he sees no progress in removing obstacles to the export of Russian products and fertilizers. Putin expressed his readiness to supply large volumes of grain to foreign markets, as well as “free of charge to transfer fertilizer blocked in European ports to needy countries.”

In response to a question from the Chancellor about the ICRC's access to prisoners of war, Putin noted that side does it, unlike Kyiv.

In addition, the president, the Kremlin continued, stressed that “Russia has been and remains a reliable supplier of energy resources,” and interruptions in the operation of the Nord Stream gas pipeline associated with anti-Russian sanctions that prevent its maintenance. He called attempts to shift the blame for problems in Europe's energy supply to Russia “very cynical”; taking into account the European authorities cutting off gas supplies via routes through Ukraine and Poland and refusing to commission Nord Stream 2.

September 7, the German Chancellor spoke with Zelensky. Scholz assured the Ukrainian president that Berlin would not stop supporting Ukraine militarily, as well as politically, financially and humanitarianly. The leaders agreed that the safety and security of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is of paramount importance, and that IAEA recommendations play an important role.

The last time Putin and Scholz spoke by phone was May 28 (on the same day, the Russian president also called his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron). The parties then discussed the state of affairs “on the negotiating track, which is frozen through the fault of Kyiv”, Putin confirmed the openness of the Russian side to the resumption of dialogue.

The head of state also drew attention to the ongoing pumping Ukraine with Western weapons and the situation with global food security. Putin attributed the difficulties with food supplies “to the erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries.” and the sanctions they impose. The President expressed his readiness to facilitate the unhindered export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports and increase the supply of Russian fertilizers and agricultural products. The latter, according to him, will require the removal of restrictions.

In total, since the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, Putin and Scholz have called up about ten times. Two days earlier, Putin and Macron talked on the phone.

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