In a show of the improved ties, Scholz and Zelensky referred to each other as “Dear Volodymyr” and “Dear Olaf” during their joint news conference in Berlin on Sunday following Germany’s announcement.
Scholz said Germany would support Ukraine for “as long as necessary” but did not comment on Zelensky’s renewed plea for his country to join NATO, which Germany has traditionally opposed.
Zelensky told Scholz that Germany was the second-largest contributor to Ukraine behind the United States and was saving Ukrainian lives.
“I think we’re going to work on making Germany supporter number one,” Zelensky joked before praising the German leader.
“Chancellor Scholz you have shown leadership … and you give all of us the opportunity to make the world a safer place.
“The more leadership Germany shows, the better for the world.”
Germany’s Ministry of Defence said that the further military aid would include: 18 wheeled howitzers, artillery ammunition, guided missiles for air defence systems, four IRIS-T SLMInfra Red Imaging System Tail Surface Launched Medium Rangefire units, twelve IRIS-T SLS launch devices, battle and infantry fighting vehicles consisting of 30 Leopard 1 A5 and 20 Marders, more than 100 armoured combat vehicles and 200 drones for reconnaissance operations.
The weapons come ahead of Ukraine’s long-awaited counter-offensive against Russia, which Zelensky has said he still needs more time and the delivery of promised weapons before launching.
Zelensky said that on his tour of European capitals, he was forming a fighter-jet coalition to obtain the air supremacy he has been seeking from allies since Vladimir Putin’s tanks rolled into the country in February last year.
He visited Italy on Saturday, meeting Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni as well as the president.
Before Paris, Zelensky travelled with Scholz to Aachen – the first German city to be liberated from the Nazis by the allies. There he was awarded the 2023 International Charlemagne Prize, which promotes European unification.
“Ukraine incarnates everything the European idea is living for: the courage of convictions, the fight for values and freedom, the commitment to peace and unity,” European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, told those attending the ceremony.
“They are literally fighting for freedom, humanity and peace.
“They are bleeding and they are laying down their lives to safeguard the future of their children.
“And of ours. President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine know what they are fighting for. And they have understood what Europe and our Union is about.
“This is why I am convinced that Ukraine will prevail, it will win peace and make its European destiny come true.”
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