Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a phone conversation with President Vladimir Putin today, urging the Russian leader to organise an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine.
In a hour-long call described by the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pekov as “harsh, but businesslike,” Scholz reportedly pressed Putin to make progress in finding a diplomatic solution, and told the Russian President that the humanitarian situation needed to improve.
Putin assured Scholz that the Russian side was “doing everything possible” to save the lives of civilians, but also accused the Ukrainian side of stalling the peace talks.
“It was noted that the Kiev regime is attempting in every possible way to delay the negotiation process, putting forward more and more unrealistic proposals” the Kremlin readout of the two leaders’ call stated.
Peskov echoed the official statement, adding that the Russian delegation was prepared to work much faster than what was being achieved so far. “Unfortunately the Ukrainian delegation is not ready to step up the pace of negotiations”, he commented.. “But the negotiation process continues nonetheless.”
In the call with Scholz, Putin also accused Kiev of launching rocket attacks on the cities of Donetsk and Makyevka, both currently controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. Putin told Scholz civilians had been killed in the blasts, and he accused the western countries of ignoring this “war crime”.
When the phone call was over, Putin attended a patriotic rally at a Moscow stadium, where he praised the war in Ukraine as a “heroic” mission by the Russian army. He also pledged that all of the Kremlin’s plans for Ukraine would be implemented. Welcoming Russia’s President to the stage, speakers praised him for fighting “Nazism” in Ukraine.