20:30 07 Feb 2023

Zelensky meets German defense minister to discuss Ukraine’s priorities

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with the newly appointed Federal Minister of Defense of Germany, Boris Pistorius, who is in Ukraine on a visit.

This is reported on the website of the Office of the President.

Welcoming the German defense minister in Kyiv, the President expressed gratitude to him for making his first foreign visit to Ukraine. "Thank you for this signal of support for Ukraine," he said.

The President highly appreciated the solidarity and comprehensive, effective assistance in the security, political, financial, energy, and other fields which Germany provides to our country in the face of full-scale armed aggression by russia.

"Ukraine is extremely interested in support from one of the leaders of the European Union – Germany. Especially at this time of difficult trials for us. We are grateful for the recent decisions, for all decisions," Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized.

The President also praised the long-awaited decision of Germany to supply Ukraine with Leopard battle tanks and to grant permission for their transfer to our state by third countries, which paves the way for the creation of an international tank coalition. He noted: "Recent decisions regarding the tank coalition and the initiative from European friends in cooperation with our Ministry of Defense – it can really give us not just advantages, but parity on the battlefield. It is necessary to understand that it depends on time, the quantity, and modernity of the tank coalition's equipment".

Zelensky informed the interlocutor of the situation at the frontline and the primary defense needs of Ukraine in the context of russia's escalation of its aggressive war.

"And indeed, the priority on which we will continue to work is the stability of our army. Today, this is the most important challenge," the President emphasized.

Zelensky stressed that to ensure an effective response to the new phase of russian aggression and to protect the civilian population, Ukrainian cities, and energy networks, Ukraine needs to receive all the necessary weapons and military equipment as soon as possible. Several practical steps to strengthen the Ukrainian sky's protection and reinforce Ukraine's defense capabilities with Germany's support were also considered.

During the meeting, parties also discussed the importance of implementing the Ukrainian peace formula for restoring peace and stability in Europe and the world, as well as the role of Germany in this process.

For reference:

Earlier this day, Boris Pistorius had a meeting with Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. As Reznikov informed on his Twitter, the German defense minister brought the first Leopard -2 tank to Ukraine, but this time only a toy version.

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