Ukrainian war: Merz wants to go to kyiv this week

Status: 05/02/2022 6:35 p.m.

CDU leader Merz will visit Ukraine later this week. He announced it at a press conference. He wanted to get an idea of ​​the situation on the ground – also because Chancellor Scholz was not planning such a trip.

According to his own statements, CDU Chairman Friedrich Merz will start his trip to Kyiv this week. After a meeting of the joint executive committee of the CDU and the CSU in Cologne, he said he received a lot of encouragement for his plans.

He has an invitation from the Ukrainian parliament, which he is happy to accept. He wants to meet representatives of parliament and the government there and get an idea of ​​the situation on the ground. A trip had actually already been planned for February, according to Merz.

Merz received support for his travel plans from the prime ministers of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, Wüst and Söder.

Image: EPA

“Decide for yourself if I travel”

He recommended Chancellor Olaf Scholz to visit the Ukrainian capital. He hasn’t done so for the past two months. He therefore sees no reason to wait any longer. “If I’m invited, I decide for myself whether I’m going to travel or not, and I don’t ask permission either,” Merz said. “I will of course inform the Federal Government in detail after my trip,” he added.

He also pointed out that he had not requested an escort from the Federal Criminal Police Office and that there had been no such offer. “Everything that is written is false.”

The Prime Ministers of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, Hendrik Wüst and Markus Söder, support the CDU leader’s travel plans. These are a “strong signal” and don’t embarrass Scholz – when in doubt, he does it himself, Söder said. Wüst said he was happy that Merz was going to Kyiv.

Michael Heussen, WDR, with information on the announced trip to Ukraine by CDU leader Merz

tagesschau24 6 p.m., 2.5.2022

Will Scholz go to kyiv?

Merz’s trip is likely to fuel debate over whether Scholz should visit Kyiv like other EU heads of government before him. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit continued to keep a low profile on the Chancellor’s possible travel plans. The Chancellor’s movements would only be announced shortly in advance, he said simply.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock Anne Will ARD Program said she would be the first member of the government to visit the Ukrainian capital since the start of the war.

She had already planned the trip after war crimes in the kyiv suburb of Bucha became known. But then she first wanted to let the Federal President go first, who was then “unfortunately” not invited again. But that doesn’t mean “that I won’t be driving in the future”.

Visits to show local solidarity

A number of prominent politicians have already traveled to Kyiv to show their solidarity. Most recently, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was in the Ukrainian capital.

FDP defense expert Marie-Agnès Strack-Zimmermann was also present. Sunday evening, in view of a possible trip to Merz, she stressed the importance of good preparation. “But it’s not about who drives first, who drives last.” If you go there, you must bring something with you. “That means you have to be very precise.” She does not believe the chancellor will be motivated by the travel plans and warned Merz against using the planned visit for partisan political purposes.

The Left Party visits Ukraine on Tuesday

Die Linke announced today that a delegation will visit Ukraine from Tuesday to Sunday. Stations in kyiv, Bucha, Irpin and Lviv are planned. According to reports, the delegation consists of the parliamentary group’s foreign policy spokesman, Gregor Gysi, the former left-wing candidate for the federal presidency, Gerhard Trabert, and the parliamentary group’s press spokesperson.

Gysi wrote to Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk, asking him to mediate the talks at the Foreign Ministry and parliament in Kyiv, the parliamentary group said. “Despite several reminders, he received no response.”

Merz: “I will decide for myself if I travel to Kyiv”

Philipp Eckstein, ARD Berlin, May 2, 2022, 6:11 p.m.

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