President of the Bundestag Bas has arrived in Kyiv
Created: 05/08/2022Updated: 05/08/2022 09:22
Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (archive photo).
© Michael Kappeler/dpa
No high-ranking politician from the Federal Republic has visited Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
Now the formally second-highest German representative is visiting Kyiv.
Kyiv - Bundestag President Bärbel Bas arrived in Kyiv on Sunday, where she wants to take part in the commemoration of the end of the Second World War in Europe 77 years ago.
The SPD politician is the second highest representative of the Federal Republic after the Federal President and thus the most important German politician to visit Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression.
She follows an invitation from the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk.
On behalf of the German Bundestag, the SPD politician wants to lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and at the memorial to the murdered Ukrainian Jews in Babyn Yar.
Bas and Stefantschuk want to commemorate all civilian and military victims of the Second World War together.
A talk with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also planned - if the security situation allows it.
The relationship between Berlin and Kyiv had been extremely tense in recent weeks.
This was mainly caused by the unloading of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who wanted to travel to Kyiv together with the Presidents of Poland and the three Baltic States.
In Berlin, this was seen as an unprecedented event and an affront.
According to the Office of the Federal President, the irritations were cleared up during a telephone conversation between Steinmeier and Selenskyj last Thursday.
Baerbock trip planned
Before the President of the Bundestag, the CDU Chairman Friedrich Merz was in Kyiv last Tuesday.
A trip by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) is also planned for the coming days.
With the visit, Bas wants to commemorate the millions of victims who were caused worldwide by the Second World War unleashed by Hitler's Germany - in Ukraine, but also in Russia, Belarus, Poland, the Baltic States and the other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
She would also like to commemorate the Jews murdered in the Holocaust in a special way, the immense victims in the civilian population and in the Red Army.
The SPD politician also sees her trip as a special expression of the Bundestag's solidarity with Ukraine.
She wants to make it clear that Germany is firmly on the side of Ukraine, which is fighting for its existence, in the war of aggression initiated by Russia, which violates international law.
Germany has supported Ukraine with around two billion euros since 2014.
Bas also advocates continuing to seek a political solution to end the conflict through diplomatic means.
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Russia's war against Ukraine shapes World War II commemoration
Steinmeier is on the phone with Selenskyj
Bundestag President Bas wants to travel to Ukraine
It is still unclear whether and when Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) will travel to Ukraine.
Selenskyj invited him for this Monday.
On May 9th, Russia celebrates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Scholz could take a "very strong political step" and come to the Ukrainian capital on May 9, Zelensky said at an event organized by the London think tank Chatham House last Friday.