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Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Olaf Scholz Goes to Moscow

A dialogue between Germany and Russia about the Russia-Ukraine Crisis has been under way. The countries plan to continue diplomatic relations between them.

The Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, made his way to Moscow yesterday to discuss with Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, the current Russia-Ukraine crisis. This comes after his visit to Kyiv the day before.

Scholz said that “the most important thing is that we manage relations between countries through good discussions with each other.” He believes that those who hold the highest positions in their countries have the responsibility to ensure that the current Russia-Ukraine crisis does not progress any further and becomes a full-blown war. It is important to address these issues through the use of peaceful dialogue and not through violent measures.

Putin echoes this statement. In a press conference, he said that “we are ready to work further together. We are ready to go down the negotiations track.” As they value the relationship between the countries, Russia does not have any intentions of severing ties with Germany. The country is one of the biggest trading partners of Russia. It just ranks behind China, which is their largest trade partner. Because of this, Russia plans to continue working with Germany.

Discussion between Scholz and Putin about the Russia-Ukraine crisis
Olaf Scholz did not undergo a COVID-19 RT-PCR test in Russia. This required both officials to conduct their discussions from a distance.

News of Russian Troops Being Withdrawn

The increased military presence along the borders of Ukraine could give a dangerous warning that an invasion is to come. However, Scholz said that there is news that the number of these military troops has been decreasing. He takes that as good news and expects that more troops will leave the borders in the coming days.

The USA believes otherwise. Julianne Smith, the US Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said that there were no signs that the military troops of Russia were withdrawing from the borders. She says, “We don’t have any evidence that that’s occurring. We’ll want to step back and spend some time verifying that claim.” Both the US administration and NATO remain open to a peaceful discussion with Russia about the Russia-Ukraine crisis. This will be done so that tensions between the two countries can decrease.

Will Deutsche Welle Regain Its Broadcast License? 

Apart from the Russia-Ukraine crisis, other matters were also brought up during the meeting between Scholz and Putin. This included the broadcasting rights of Deutsche Welle, a German international broadcaster owned by the state, in Russia. 

In compliance with the restrictions on their broadcasting activities, the staff of Deutsche Welle, who were based in Moscow, had to bid goodbye to their office.

Recently, Russia cancelled the accreditation of the staff of Deutsche Welle who were operating in Moscow. Because of this, Deutsche Welle can not legally conduct their work and air their broadcasts on the territory of Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said that it will “terminate the satellite and other broadcasting (output) of Deutsche Welle.”

This was seen as a counterattack by Russia in response to the decision of the broadcasting regulator in Germany, which was implemented in the latter part of last year. They decided to ban the state-owned Russian international television network “RT” from airing in Europe. This is because RT did not have the broadcast license to legally operate within the country.

Scholz believes that Deutsche Welle can operate again in Moscow. Putin said that this was not off the table and that he would welcome more discussions so that they could agree upon their broadcasting rights.

Both countries plan to continue diplomatic relations between them. The issues that they face with the Russia-Ukraine crisis are hoped to be resolved through peaceful negotiations.

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