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15 Mar, 2024 21:26

‘We’re not at war with Russia,’ Scholz tells Macron

Germany, France and Poland affirmed unity on Ukraine after a rift over ground troops and long-range missile supply
‘We’re not at war with Russia,’ Scholz tells Macron

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced that countries that support Ukraine are not at war with Russia. The statement came as the leaders of Germany, France and Poland met in Berlin on Friday to show solidarity after their recent disagreement over military support for Kiev.

During a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, the chancellor stated that the countries stand firmly behind Ukraine and that allied help would continue for “as long as it takes.”

“It is also clear that we are not at war with Russia,” Scholz added.

The statement follows simmering disagreements between Paris and Berlin over possible supply of long-range missiles and deployment of troops on the ground in Ukraine.

Scholz has thus far refused to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine in order to avoid further escalating a conflict with Russia. France, on the other hand, has been delivering SCALP-EG cruise missiles, which are already being used by Ukraine and are roughly equivalent to the Taurus.

Macron’s recent suggestion that the West “cannot exclude” the possibility of sending soldiers to aid Ukraine in its conflict with Russia has also drawn criticism from Germany and other NATO states.

The chancellor and the French president came together before the three-way talks on Friday to clear the air, after weeks in which the two very publicly disagreed over their Ukraine strategy.

Simmering disagreements between the two threatened to undermine cooperation between the allies.

Germany, France and Poland are among Ukraine’s key allies. Germany has become Ukraine’s second-biggest supplier of military aid after the US and is stepping up support this year.