Following a virtual G7 meeting on Friday, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the G7 nations had assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that they would continue to provide "political, humanitarian, and financial support to Ukraine, including arms deliveries, for as long as necessary." Zelensky dialled in to the meeting, which took place at the invitation of Japan, which currently chairs the G7.
A brave and determined defence effort
Exactly one year ago, Russia's invasion of Ukraine marked the start of a brutal offensive that Federal Chancellor Scholz once again described as a "turning point" for Europe. Since then, he said, Ukraine had been engaged in a brave and determined defence effort. He thanked the Ukrainians for their dedication, sacrifice, courage, and their indomitable will to persevere.
Financial support for Ukraine vital for survival
The Federal Chancellor pointed out that the G7 countries had provided Ukraine with 37 billion euros in financial aid since the beginning of the war. This aid, he said, was essential for the country's survival, because even in wartime, a state needed to be able to function.
During the meeting, the G7 nations assured Ukrainian President Zelensky that they would continue to provide this assistance for as long as it was needed. The G7 had agreed that the International Monetary Fund should set up a support program for Ukraine, Scholz added.
The importance of reconstruction
The reconstruction of Ukraine's destroyed infrastructure was also extremely important, Scholz said, adding that he sees this as a "task for at least a whole generation". To this end, a reconstruction conference had already been held in the autumn of 2022 on the initiative of the German G7 presidency. The goal, he said, was to launch a funding mechanism for donors to provide financial support for the long-term endeavour to rebuild Ukraine.
Please click here for more information on Germany's humanitarian, financial and military aid to Ukraine.
Scholz reiterated that weapons deliveries remained necessary for the defence of Ukraine due to continued Russian aggression. The G7, he continued, had closely coordinated their military aid whereby Germany was shouldering a large part of the burden.
"We have delivered heavy equipment," said the Federal Chancellor, referring to Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, self-propelled howitzers, and multiple rocket launchers. Germany had also provided support in the form of air defence systems such as IRIS-T, he added.
More tank supplies announced
The Federal Chancellor announced that Germany would be supplying Ukraine with a further 40 Marder armoured personnel carriers and 14 Leopard 2 A6 battle tanks in the spring as well as, a number of Leopard 1 A5 tanks from industrial stocks in cooperation with Denmark and the Netherlands.
Please click here for an overview of all German military assistance to Ukraine.
Taking a seat at the negotiating table at long last
"This war is Putin's war," said Federal Chancellor Scholz. The Russian president, he said, could end this war and the suffering it is causing immediately by ceasing hostilities and withdrawing his troops.
Unfortunately, according to Scholz, "the Russian authorities are not making any effort to end this criminal war," even after a year of war and bloodshed. That, he said, was why it is important to "keep up the pressure on Russia to return to the fold of international law and take a seat at the negotiating table at long last."
It was Ukrainians who were paying the highest price for Russia's injustice and brutality, the Federal Chancellor said. However, with reference to the enormous increases in energy, fertiliser, and food costs, around the world, he added that the entire world was also suffering as a result of Russian aggression. "The world’s poorest are suffering the most," said Scholz.
Fundamental issues at stake
What this shows is that this war is about fundamental issues: "We cannot submit to military ruthlessness nor tolerate the violent shifting of the borders of sovereign states, nor allow the law of the survival of the fittest to prevail."
The G7 partners, said Scholz, referring to the European Union's tenth sanctions package, had agreed to continue economic pressure through coordinated sanctions. At the international level, too, he said, it would be made clear "that Russia is isolated in the world due to its aggression against Ukraine."
Federal Chancellor Scholz indicated that he would "again be promoting our position, our perspective on this conflict" during his imminent state visit to India this weekend.
Read more about the war in Ukraine on our topic page.