Zelenskyy gets warm welcome on first German visit since Russian invasion
Berlin, May 14 (EFE).- German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier Sunday warmly received Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at his official residence in Berlin on his first known trip to the country since the Russian invasion in February last year.
Zelenskyy landed in Berlin shortly after midnight from Rome, where he met Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Saturday.
After he arrived at the Bellevue Palace in a car convoy, Zelenskyy signed up for the guest book before delegations from the two sides began their meeting co-chaired by the two presidents.
The Ukrainian president will also meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Chancellery.
He is likely to visit Aachen, in West Germany, to receive the Charlemagne Prize for his contribution to the unification of Europe.
In preparation for the Ukrainian president’s visit, the police have increased security measures in certain parts of the city center, particularly around the government quarter. Helicopters are flying over the area.
Residents living near the foreign ministry and the president’s office must carry an identity document.
Driving along the River Spree is barred by the Federal Chancellery.
The visit comes a day after Germany announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth approximately $3 billion to help Kyiv boost its defenses in the war against Russia.
The more than 2.7 billion euro package includes air defense systems, armored combat vehicles, artillery, tanks, and reconnaissance drones.
The German government’s decision to provide this level of support represents the largest military aid package to date, underscoring Berlin’s commitment to helping Ukraine defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We all hope for a rapid end to this terrible war by Russia against the Ukrainian people, but unfortunately this is not in sight. This is why Germany will supply all the help that it can, for as long as necessary,” Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.
According to the statement, the package has 18-wheeled howitzers, artillery ammunition, guided missiles for air defense systems, four IRIS-T SLM fire units, and 12 IRIS-T SLS launchers.
It comprises 30 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks, 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, over 100 armored fighting vehicles, and more than 200 reconnaissance drones. EFE