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Germany stands in solidarity with Ukraine – Foreign Minister Baerbock in Kyiv

the foreign minister talking to the prosecutor general of Ukraine

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the prosecutor general of Ukraine Iryna Wenediktow, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.de

11.05.2022 - članak

Foreign Minister Baerbock travelled to Kyiv today. She began her trip by visiting the town of Bucha. Later in the day, she held political talks with President Zelensky and others. Baerbock emphasised: “Ukraine can count on our support – not just in military terms, and not just today.”

destroyed buildings
destroyed buildings in Irpin © Florian Gaertner/photothek.de

Scenes of horror: Visit to Bucha and Irpin

Foreign Minister Baerbock began her trip by visiting the town of Bucha and neighbouring Irpin to the north-west of Kyiv. These two places symbolise the war crimes of the Russian forces. Baerbock met with an employee of the German Embassy in Kyiv outside his bombarded home. He was still in Bucha with his family at the beginning of the Russian occupation and later managed to flee.

Foreign Minister Baerbock lit a candle in the church in Bucha. The town is a place where “the absolute worst crimes that we can imagine not only became visible but actually happened,” said the Minister.

And that is why I am here today with the prosecutor general, who is investigating these crimes and collecting evidence on behalf of her country. And we want to make a small contribution by supporting this investigation of war crimes, of crimes against humanity. (...) We owe this to the victims,

said Baerbock.

The prosecutor general of Ukraine, Iryna Venediktova, has a key role to play in documenting and investigating Russia’s war crimes. Germany is supporting US and EU investigators in their cooperation with the prosecutor general’s office and is providing forensic equipment.  

the foreign minister shaking hands with the president of Ukraine
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock with with President Zelensky© Florian Gaertner/photothek.de

Political talks with President Zelensky and Foreign Minister Kuleba

The Minister’s political talks with President Zelensky, Foreign Minister Kuleba and others focused in particular on ongoing weapons supplies and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, as well as the military situation and the question of how to ensure accountability for Russian war crimes.

At a joint press conference with her Ukrainian counterpart, Foreign Minister Baerbock said:

We are aghast at Russia’s brutality in seeking not only to destroy this city of freedom but also to wipe this country off the map. The courage with which the Ukrainian people are thwarting these aims can barely be described. Your desire for freedom stands against an army that knows only cynicism and terror. (...) Your struggle therefore marks a turning point in the rivalry between liberal democracies and autocratic regimes. Many people around the world will see your example and draw their conclusions.

Reopening of Germany’s diplomatic mission in Kyiv

During her visit, the Foreign Minister reopened Germany’s diplomatic mission in the Ukrainian capital. The German Ambassador to Ukraine, Anka Feldhusen, was part of the Minister’s delegation, and remained in Kyiv after the trip.

The reopening of the Embassy is an important signal. “We will continue to support the free European country of Ukraine with humanitarian, financial, economic, technological and political assistance, and as regards energy matters, not just today and tomorrow but over the long term. We will still be there when this war is over, when Vladimir Putin has failed to secure his goals, when Ukraine is free to build its future,” the Foreign Minister Baerbock said.

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