German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Monday his country stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine, as he visited Kyiv for the first time since the start of the war.

Lindner, whose trip was not announced in advance, said upon arrival that he would hold “very concrete” talks with Ukrainian officials on how the German finance ministry can support Ukraine now and in the future.

“We stand by Ukraine’s side, shoulder to shoulder,” Lindner told reporters.

Since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, Germany has provided some 22 billion euros ($24 billion) to Ukraine in humanitarian, financial and military aid, Lindner said.

“Ukraine must not lose this war,” the minister added.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal later wrote on the messaging app Telegram that he had had “an important meeting” with Lindner in Kyiv, and that he had thanked the German government for its support.

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Lindner had stressed during the talks “that Germany will further support Ukraine, and our cooperation projects will be long term”, according to Shmygal.

The two countries were already working on five investment projects worth around 247 million euros, and were looking at three more projects totalling more than 70 million euros, Shmygal added.

“We expect the participation of German business” in Ukraine’s post-war rebuilding, he said.

“I emphasised that it is necessary to strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation and confiscate Russian assets, which will be the main source of financing for reconstruction,” Shmygal added.

Video: German and French Fighters Scramble to Intercept Russian Reconnaissance Planes
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Video: German and French Fighters Scramble to Intercept Russian Reconnaissance Planes

Russian military reconnaissance aircraft violated NATO’s Baltic airspace on Feb. 26 and 27 near Finland and off the coast of Estonia, triggering scramble of French and German jets on alert.

Lindner’s visit comes as Germany is under growing pressure from Ukraine to send long-range Taurus cruise missiles to boost its struggling counter-offensive against Russian troops.

The German government has so far resisted the pleas, on concerns that the missiles could reach Russian territory and widen the conflict.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told Germany’s Bild newspaper that the Taurus missiles were “crucial” to Ukraine’s fightback.

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Seeking to ease concerns about the long reach of the weapons, Podolyak said they would be used “exclusively on the territory of Ukraine, within the internationally recognised borders of 1991".

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko added to the calls on Monday, saying he had told Lindner during their meeting in the capital that Ukraine was “in dire need of the necessary armaments”.

“These are air defence systems and long-range weapons. And we count on the understanding of the situation by our partners, that it cannot be delayed,” Klitschko said on Telegram.

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Comments (3)

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Wayne
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We will give Ukraine all the slingshots and peashooters you need to give Putin time to totally destroy half of the country...
and then we'll be right there shoulder to shoulder to OWN Ukraine when you need help reconstructing.

Mark Szaszy
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@Wayne, you got that right!

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Joseph Swanson
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“We stand by Ukraine’s side, shoulder to shoulder,” Lindner told reporters.
LOL...sure they do...still no jet fighters though.

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Maple leaf
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Good to see amount Germany has given and are willing to give more.

Maple leaf
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@Maple leaf, Now I hope my country would do the same puts us to shame.

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Mark Szaszy
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@Maple leaf, blah blah blah send Ukraine the Taurus missile system NOW

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