Annalena Baerbock: “The first step towards peace”

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow the children abducted from Ukraine to return to their homeland. Their return to Ukraine “is the first step towards peace. And immediately,” demanded the Green politician on Monday after a conversation with her Ukrainian colleague Dmytro Kuleba in the Ukrainian capital.

Ukrainian children were abducted in an inhumane way and subjected to brainwashing – “with the aim of turning them against their own homeland, Ukraine,” criticized Baerbock. Their fates “show once again: Putin will stop at nothing. “He has no moral compass” and “breaks the rules of the international community and the rules of human interaction every day,” said Baerbock.

Baerbock appeal: “Look at the children”

Addressing those who comment neutrally on the Russian war of aggression, she said: “That’s why I appeal to those who argue to clearly name the aggressor and his crimes: Look at these children.” The topic is also expected to play a larger role on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York. Baerbock also wants to draw attention to the fate of the abducted children there.

According to Kiev, Moscow has brought a total of around 20,000 Ukrainian children from areas close to the front to Crimea and Russia. Several hundred have now been able to return to government-controlled areas. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued arrest warrants against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children’s representative Maria Lwowa-Belowa because of the abduction.

Baerbock for the fourth time since the outbreak of war in Ukraine

In the afternoon, Baerbock also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj and later with Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal. After the conversation with the Foreign Minister, Zelenskyj said with a view to the reconstruction conference for his country planned for next year in Berlin: “It is important to ensure maximum concrete practical results from this conference.” He also thanked Germany for its significant support for Ukraine, in particular military and financial.

Baerbock visited Ukraine for the fourth time since the Russian war of aggression began in February 2022. During her appearance with Kuleba, she said there could be no getting used to the Russian atrocities. That’s why Germany will stand by Ukraine for as long as it is necessary. “We in Europe know: You are also defending our European freedom here.” We are “forever grateful” to the Ukrainians for this, emphasized the Federal Foreign Minister.

Jean Harris

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