The president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, called on Monday for the European Union (EU) to remain united against Russia, during a conversation with the president of the European Council, after controversial statements by German officials.
Zelensky “stressed that it is important for Ukraine to preserve the unity of all EU member countries in terms of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of his country, amid fears of a Russian invasion, the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement.
“Ukraine will not give in to provocations, on the contrary: it will remain calm with its partners,” he added, after the Russian government again accused Kiev on Monday of preparing an offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.
The remarks came after the controversy caused by the head of the German navy, who described as “nonsense” the idea that Russia could invade Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin “probably deserves” respect.
The Ukrainian government’s irritation is also due to Germany’s persistent refusal to send weapons to Ukraine, a position that, according to Kiev, could even “encourage” Russia.
Instead, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Baltic states have announced that they will send weapons to Ukraine.
Traditionally reticent since World War II about any military commitment, Germany believes that such support will only aggravate tensions.
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