War in Ukraine: Mertz wants to travel to Kyiv this week

Status: 05/02/2022 6:35 p.m.

CDU leader Mertz will travel to Ukraine later this week. He announced this at a press conference. He wanted to get an idea of ​​the situation on the ground – also because Chancellor Scholz was not planning such a trip.

According to his own statements, CDU President Friedrich Merz will begin his trip to Kyiv this week. After a meeting of the CDU and CSU Joint Executive Committee in Cologne, he said he received a lot of encouragement for his plans.

He has an invitation from the Ukrainian parliament, which he gladly accepts. He wants to meet there with representatives of parliament and the government and get a picture of the situation on the ground. A trip was already planned for February, according to Merz.

Merz received support for his travel plans from the prime ministers of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, Wüst and Söder.

Image: EPA

“Decide for yourself if I will travel”

He advised Chancellor Olaf Solz to travel to the Ukrainian capital. He has not done so in the last two months. So he sees no reason to wait any longer. “If I am called, I decide for myself whether I will travel or not and I do not ask for permission either,” said Mertz. “I will of course inform the federal government in detail after my trip,” he added.

He also stressed that he had not asked for escort from the Federal Criminal Police Service and that there was no such offer. “Everything else written is wrong.”

The prime ministers of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, Hendrik Wüst and Markus Söder, support the CDU leader’s travel plans. These are “strong signals” and do not embarrass Scholz – if in doubt, he does it himself, Söder said. Wüst said he welcomed the fact that Merz was going to Kyiv.

CDU leader Merz defends planned trip to Ukraine

Kirsten Girschick, ARD Berlin, Daily News at 8:00 pm, May 2, 2022

Will Scholz travel to Kyiv?

Mertz’s trip is likely to fuel the debate over whether Soltz should travel to Kyiv like other EU heads of state before him. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit continued to keep a low profile on the chancellor’s possible travel plans. The Chancellor’s trips will be announced a little earlier, he simply said.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock ARD Program Anne Will said he would be the first member of the government to travel to the Ukrainian capital since the start of the war.

He had already planned the trip after the war crimes in the Bucha suburb of Kiev became known. But then he initially wanted to let the Federal President go first, who was then “unfortunately” again uninvited. But that does not mean “I will not drive in the future”.

Visits for the demonstration of local solidarity

Some prominent politicians have already traveled to Kyiv to show solidarity. Recently, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was in the Ukrainian capital.

FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann was also there. On Sunday night, in view of the possible trip to Mertz, he stressed how important good preparation is. “But it has nothing to do with who drives first, who drives last.” If you go, you have to bring something with you. “That means you have to be very specific.” He did not believe the chancellor would be guided by the travel plans and warned Mertz not to use the planned visit for partisan political purposes.

The Left Party travels to Ukraine on Tuesday

The Left Party announced today that a delegation will travel to Ukraine from Tuesday to Sunday. Stations are planned in Kyiv, Bukha, Irpin and Lviv. The delegation reportedly consists of Gregor Gissi, the parliamentary group’s foreign policy spokesman, former left-wing candidate for federal president Gerhard Trump and the parliamentary group spokesman.

Guy wrote to the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnik, asking him to mediate in the talks at the Foreign Ministry and the parliament in Kyiv, the parliamentary group said. “Despite many reminders, he received no response.”

Mertz: “I will decide for myself whether to travel to Kyiv”

Philipp Eckstein, ARD Berlin, May 2, 2022 6:11 p.m.

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