At a citizens’ dialogue in Marburg, Chancellor Scholz stated the withdrawal of Russian troops as a prerequisite for negotiations. The Kremlin boss will continue his phone conversation with Putin.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sees an opportunity for negotiations that will end the Ukrainian war only if Russia agrees to withdraw troops from the occupied territories.
During a Q&A session with citizens in Marburg, Hessen on Thursday, Scholz said:
Ukraine and Russia currently reject peace talks
Ukraine refuses to negotiate until Russian troops are completely withdrawn from Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.
After Germany and other Western countries announced that they would supply main battle tanks to Ukraine, the Russian leadership backed off from the idea of peace talks.
Scholz counts on diplomatic efforts
Scholz spoke right after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech. “Unbelievable, but German Leopard tanks are threatening us again,” he said. Putin added a threat: “Over and over we are forced to fend off the aggression of the collective West.”
Scholz said he will continue to rely on diplomatic efforts in Marburg in parallel with the arms shipment and will continue to call Kremlin boss Putin by phone. “It interests me to have these talks because it’s clear how we’re going to get out of this mess,” Scholz said.
Chancellor wants to prevent escalation of Ukraine war
Scholz wants to do everything in his power to prevent the Ukrainian war from spreading to other parts of Europe. “We will avoid any escalation that would lead to a war between Russia and NATO,” Scholz said in Marburg. “A war between NATO and Russia would be terrible.” He also said:
Target continues to be at least 400,000 flats per year
The civil dialogue addressed the Ukrainian war as well as the implications for Germany. A building contractor in the audience asked how young people can still buy real estate in the future, given the rise in material prices.
Scholz emphasized that at least 400 thousand flats should be built every year in Germany. He acknowledged that at the moment this is difficult to achieve, for example, due to price increases. However, this number continues to be the target that needs to be reached gradually. Because the construction industry needs to know how much it needs to expand its capacities. “Once we achieve this, we should never again build less than these 400,000 houses a year,” the SPD politician said.
It’s possible, Scholz said. He remembered that in 1972, 800,000 apartments were built in Germany in twelve months. Regarding the change in housing subsidies, Scholz said he is optimistic that the market will quickly understand how the subsidy works. The traffic light government has set aside a lot of money for the new building subsidy.
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