“Putin, in his imperial delusion, sought to grab Ukraine. Instead, he has allied it firmly with Europe.” – Foreign Minister Baerbock visits Ukraine once again

Foreign Minister Baerbock and Herman Halushchenko, Ukraine's Energy Minister, visiting a power plant destroyed in a Russian missile attack

Foreign Minister Baerbock and Herman Halushchenko, Ukraine's Energy Minister, visiting a power plant destroyed in a Russian missile attack, © Photothek Media Lab

21.05.2024 - Article

On 21 May, Foreign Minister Baerbock arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for another visit. Read more to discover why the Minister’s eighth visit comes at such a crucial moment.

Putin has been waging an illegal war of aggression against Ukraine for more than 800 days now. And for more than 800 days, the Ukrainians have defended themselves with courage and determination. Even if no day passes without people somewhere in the country being torn from their sleep by air raid sirens, and without Russia bombing yet more houses, schools, hospitals and power plants, the Ukrainians refuse to be discouraged, and tirelessly keep on rebuilding their country. The Foreign Minister wants to see on the ground just how impressive this indestructible will to stand up to the aggressors and to immediately reinstate any damaged infrastructure is.

The Ukrainians are also fighting courageously and with hope to secure a firm place for their country in Europe. Foreign Minister Baerbock shares the conviction that Ukraine’s place is in the European Union:

Putin, in his imperial delusion, sought to grab Ukraine. Instead, he has allied it firmly with Europe. Never before has our fate as Europeans been so closely linked to that of Ukraine. Ukraine is defending its freedom with great determination and in so doing is fighting for the freedom of us all. Ukraine’s EU accession is the necessary geopolitical consequence of Russia’s illegal war of aggression. Ukraine has made impressive progress and is moving along a path of reform despite Russia’s destructive fury. Now it is important for Ukraine not to relax its efforts – in the areas of judicial reform, the fight against corruption and media freedom.

Foreign Minister Baerbock has chosen a crucial moment for this trip to Ukraine. Just a few days ago, Putin launched renewed offensive operations against Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine. The Foreign Minister’s trip has the aim of reassuring her Ukrainian interlocutors that, even in view of the escalating situation in the combat zones, Germany and Europe continue to stand firmly at Ukraine’s side and will not falter in their support.

The global initiative for enhanced air defence, which the Foreign Minister recently launched with Defence Minister Pistorius, is to be seen in this context. So far almost a billion euro have been pledged as additional support for Ukraine’s air defence. And the work continues, so that the Ukrainians will in future still be able to live self-determined lives. At the same time, the initiative also protects the security of the EU states from Russian aggression.

Our support is rooted in the firm conviction that Ukraine will win this war. Putin is speculating that at some point we will run out of steam, but we have considerable staying power. Germany, together with many other countries from all parts of the world, stands unwaveringly alongside Ukraine. The people of Ukraine can build on this support in the long term.

- Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock

This long-term approach and the conviction that the Ukrainians must be supported in their untiring efforts to rebuild their country also underpin the Ukraine Recovery Conference, to be held in Berlin this June. In addition to global partners, this Conference will bring together an alliance of business representatives, civil society and local government. The Foreign Minister’s trip will moreover serve to prepare the Berlin Recovery Conference as an investment in the future of Ukraine.


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