After meeting Italian head of government Giorgia Meloni and Pope Francis on Saturday, May 13, in Italy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to Germany on Sunday, a government source in Berlin told AFP.
This move will come as the German government announced on Saturday new arms deliveries to Kiev worth 2.7 billion euros, including tanks, armored vehicles, drones and air defense systems.
The most important arms delivery since the beginning of the war
“We all want a quick end to this atrocious war by Russia against the Ukrainian people, but unfortunately it is not in sight. This is why Germany will provide all the assistance it can, for as long as necessary,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.
This is, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, the largest package of arms deliveries from Berlin to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. However, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrij Melnyk said he did not go far enough.
“It is a pity that most of the promised defense systems are old, they are not modern tanks or armored vehicles of the German army, such as Leopard 2 or Boxer models”, regretted the former Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, on the television channel Welt TV. “It is also disappointing to see that the German government continues to refuse to cross the red lines it has set itself, particularly concerning the delivery of combat aircraft, this taboo must be urgently broken”, he said. added.
He will receive the Charlemagne Prize
Sunday, the program of the visit of Volodymyr Zelensky has not yet been officially unveiled but, according to leaks in the German media, he should meet in particular with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The Ukrainian head of state is also to receive the very prestigious Charlemagne Prize, a distinction rewarding a particularly striking commitment to understanding in Europe. “For the first time in its long history, the Charlemagne Prize recognizes with this award that freedom and the fundamental principles of Europe must if necessary be defended by force”, underlined this week the director of the committee organizing the prize, Jürgen Linden, in the German daily Tagesspiegel.
However, it is not certain that Volodymyr Zelensky will go to Aachen to receive him in person. This city is located in western Germany near the Belgian border, hundreds of kilometers from Berlin.