GERMANY/UKRAINE: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin’s support for Ukraine would not falter in the face of reduced Russian energy supplies as she arrived on Saturday for her second visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Baerbock called on the Russian side to allow the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remain at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) for a long time and to hand control of the plant back to Ukraine as its sole legal owner.
The relevant statement was made by German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during a joint press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv, reported Ukrinform.
According to Baerbock, Russian weapons are stored at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which poses a huge nuclear threat.
“Therefore, we call on Moscow to allow the IAEA mission to remain at the plant for a long time and to completely remove the weapons. Russia should remove them from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and return control of the nuclear power plant to its sole legal owner, Ukraine. Those are the demands we have to make now,” Baerbock said.
According to her, the situation in the Zaporizhia NPP is the fault and nonsense of the Russian war, and Europe should not make any concessions.
A reminder that Russian troops seized the Zaporizhia NPP on March 4, 2022. Since then, they have deployed military equipment and ammunition in the power plant area and shelled the adjacent area.
Baerbock stated in a statement, “We will stay behind Ukraine for as long as necessary,” adding that German help would include armaments in addition to humanitarian and financial aid.
Baerbock was the first official representative of the German government to travel to Kyiv since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow refers to as “a special military operation,” began in May.
Germany is struggling to support households and businesses impacted by an increase in energy prices after Russia cut off supply through the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline.
Minister Baerbock stated, “Vladimir Putin is banking on us tiring of our compassion for Ukraine’s suffering.” She continued, “This plan will not and must not work out because all of Europe knows that Ukraine is defending our peace and security order.”
Baerbock said one goal of her visit was to give Ukraine assistance in removing anti-personnel mines left by Russian forces in buildings and farmland, a task she claimed may take decades.
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