The escalation of the Middle East conflict will not alter Germany’s support for Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.
“Our support to Ukraine will in no way be affected while we have been looking at Israel and the Middle East with greater concern,” Scholz said at the German-Ukrainian Economy Forum.
“Our unbreakable solidarity goes to both countries – Israel and Ukraine,” he stressed.
His remarks came amid growing concern in Ukraine about the Israel-Palestine conflict, and fear that this would divert attention from the Russia-Ukraine war, and redirect resources to Israel.
Scholz underlined that Germany and its partners will continue to provide economic, financial and military support to Ukraine to help Ukrainians defend their country.
“Our promise stands. We will support Ukraine for as long as necessary. Together with our partners from the EU, Group of Seven, and many other countries, we leave no doubt about our determination and perseverance,” he said.
Scholz said Germany has provided Ukraine with €24 billion ($25.5 billion) in aid since the beginning of the war in February 2022, and promised that his government will continue to support Ukraine “with all its might” on its way to the EU membership.
Delivering a speech at the forum, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal thanked Germany for its support and called for closer cooperation between German and Ukrainian firms in reconstruction efforts.
He also said Ukraine is offering great investment opportunities for German defense companies for the maintenance of military equipment and joint production of new weapons systems.
”I am happy to announce today that Rheinmetall Ukrainian Defense Industry, a joint venture of leading German and Ukrainian defense firms, has been officially registered in Ukraine on Oct. 18,” he said, and called on other defense companies to explore investment opportunities in his country.
German defense giant Rheinmetall, which produces the Leopard battle tanks, said in a statement that the maintenance of military vehicles will be the first step in cooperation, and it will continue with joint production of selected Rheinmetall products in Ukraine.