BERLIN — Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany on Saturday rejected claims that Berlin may be pressuring Kyiv behind closed doors to reach a peace deal with Russia.
The speculation has been fueled by a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday about a secret “Russia dinner” in the German embassy in Washington in late October, during which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s closest aide, the head of the chancellery Wolfgang Schmidt, reportedly “euphorically praised” a proposal by U.S. think tanker Samuel Charap to end the war in Ukraine through an imposed negotiated settlement with Moscow.
In a podcast interview with the German public broadcaster RRB, Oleksii Makeiev, the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin, denied the German government was pushing Kyiv to accept peace talks with Russia that could lead to a permanent loss of Ukrainian territory. The pressure was “also not” happening behind closed doors, Makeiev added.
An official from the German chancellery told POLITICO that Schmidt rejects the “unfounded assertions” in the Spiegel report.
Scholz and other Western leaders have repeatedly stressed that Kyiv alone should decide when and under which conditions it reaches a peace deal with Moscow.
The German chancellor’s foreign and security policy advisor Jens Plötner wrote in a joint op-ed with Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian President’s office, earlier this month that “a simple cease-fire today would be tantamount to legitimizing Russia’s land grab and pave the way for yet another frozen conflict.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that he’s not willing to discuss peace with Ukraine until he’s reached his objectives in the war.