Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Visits Germany, Receives Charlemagne Prize

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a significant visit to Germany, his first since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The visit aimed to strengthen diplomatic ties and address key issues related to weapons, air defense, reconstruction, EU integration, and NATO partnership. The visit also included a significant event—the presentation of the Charlemagne Prize to President Zelenskyy in Aachen.

The visit began with President Zelenskyy’s arrival in Berlin, where he held talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The joint statement following the talks emphasized Germany’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Germany expressed support for Ukraine’s pursuit of a just and sustainable peace, the need for accountability for war crimes and atrocities committed, and increasing pressure on Russia through sanctions. Additionally, Germany pledged extensive aid for Ukraine’s recovery, including military and humanitarian assistance, reconstruction support, and modernization of the energy sector.

The visit underscored Germany’s commitment to Ukraine’s defense by announcing a new military aid package worth over €2.7 billion. This aid package included tanks, fighting vehicles, reconnaissance drones, and air defense systems to counter Russian aggression effectively. Chancellor Scholz assured President Zelenskyy of Germany’s continued support for Ukraine for as long as necessary, with a total commitment of €17 billion in military and humanitarian aid.

The highlight of the visit was the award ceremony for the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen, where President Zelenskyy received the prestigious award on behalf of the Ukrainian people. The Charlemagne Prize, established in 1950, recognizes efforts toward European unification. Zelenskyy and Ukraine were honored for their fight not only for their country but also for Europe and European values. The award ceremony was attended by Chancellor Scholz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who delivered speeches emphasizing the significance of the prize and Ukraine’s contributions to Europe.

President Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for Germany’s support and acknowledged the leadership shown by Chancellor Scholz, emphasizing the opportunity to create a safer world. He highlighted the importance of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and called for an end to the war this year. Zelenskyy also welcomed Germany’s military aid package as a strong pillar of support and expressed hope for a just and fair peace.

The visit to Germany marked an important milestone in Ukraine-Germany relations and showcased Germany’s firm commitment to supporting Ukraine. By presenting the Charlemagne Prize to President Zelenskyy, Germany recognized Ukraine’s efforts in advancing European integration and strengthening European values. The visit reinforced the alliance between the two countries and signaled Germany’s dedication to Ukraine’s security, reconstruction, and long-term aspirations within the European Union framework.