Berlin: Steinmeier receives Ukrainian President Selenskyj


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Status: 05/14/2023 09:10 a.m

Ukrainian President Selenskyj met Federal President Steinmeier at the start of his visit to Germany. After a reception with military honors, a meeting with Chancellor Scholz is planned.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier received the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in Berlin for the official start of his visit to Germany. He arrived in a car convoy in the morning at Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the German head of state. After Zelenskyj’s entry in the guest book, a conversation between the Federal President and the Ukrainian guest was planned.

Afterwards, Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to receive Selenskyj with military honors in the Chancellery. After a one-on-one conversation and another small-group discussion, there will also be a press conference. He is later to receive the Aachen Charlemagne Prize for his services to Europe and European integration. For security reasons, it has still not been officially confirmed whether he will travel from Berlin to Aachen or accept the award virtually.

Selenskyj had arrived in Berlin during the night. “Already in Berlin,” Zelenskyj wrote at 12:36 a.m. on Twitter. According to the Air Force, a Bundeswehr flight readiness plane picked up Selenskyj in the evening in Rome, where the Ukrainian President had met Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Pope Francis.

The Luftwaffe wrote on Twitter early in the morning: “Welcome to Germany! It is a great honor for us to welcome the President of Ukraine in German airspace!”

According to this, Selenskyj was picked up with an Airbus A319 of the airport readiness service in Rome. Two Eurofighters from Lechfeld Air Base south of Augsburg escorted the President “safely to Berlin,” it said. In his message, Selenskyj wrote down the key words of his trip to Germany: “Weapons. Powerful package. Air defence. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Security.”

The federal government is supplying tanks, weapons and ammunition worth more than 2.7 billion euros.

Extensive armament package for Kyiv

The federal government had on Saturday announced a comprehensive arms package for Kyiv. According to the Defense Ministry, Ukraine will receive, among other things, 30 Leopard 1 A5 and 20 Marder tanks. The package also includes four additional Iris-T anti-aircraft systems, 18 wheeled howitzers, more than 100 armored combat vehicles and more than 200 reconnaissance drones. Artillery ammunition and guided missiles for the air defense systems made available by Germany were also promised to Ukraine.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said: “With this valuable contribution of urgently needed military material, we are showing once again that Germany is serious about its support”. Germany will “provide all the help it can – as long as it takes,” said the SPD politician.

Italy pledged continued support to Ukraine during President Zelensky’s visit.

Zelenskyj had himself in Italy thanked for the help against the Russian invasion and asked for further support. His talks in Rome are “important to get closer to Ukraine’s victory,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

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