Minister visits Kyiv: Schulze promises Ukraine help with reconstruction

Svenja Schulze is traveling to Ukraine as the second member of the federal government.

Minister visits Kyiv: Schulze promises Ukraine help with reconstruction

Svenja Schulze is traveling to Ukraine as the second member of the federal government. The development minister promised the country civil aid from Germany so that reconstruction could begin as quickly as possible. Russia's President Putin is calling on them to release Ukrainian grain.

Development Minister Svenja Schulze is the second member of the federal government to travel to Ukraine since the start of the Russian war of aggression. During a visit to the heavily damaged Kiev suburb of Borodjanka, she assured the people of civil aid from Germany. 185 million euros for emergency measures have already been approved, Schulze told journalists in Borodjanka. Specifically, apartments and power lines are to be built. "The Ukrainians simply need water and electricity. Those who have fled inside Ukraine need a roof over their heads, the children need to be able to go back to school and support is needed for all of that."

Germany will remain a partner for the next few years, she said in front of houses destroyed by Russian air strikes. "But we mustn't wait until the war is over, we have to start helping and building up again now." The emergency aid funds are to go, among other things, to the reconstruction of the destroyed houses. But people also need garbage collection and waste management. The development ministry will continue to cooperate closely with the affected communities in the future, she said in an interview with Borodjanka's mayor Georgi Jerko.

Schulze called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow grain deliveries through Ukrainian ports. "Putin is to blame for the fact that famine may now be occurring in many countries." The SPD politician rejected Russian accusations that Western sanctions were provoking a global hunger crisis. Food is excluded from the sanctions, she stressed. "But what Putin is actually doing is that he is bombing the ports and thereby preventing food from being exported from Ukraine at all." That has to stop, Schulze demanded.

Russia had called the partial lifting of Western sanctions a condition for solving the global food crisis. At the same time, Moscow rejected accusations of blocking Ukrainian ports. These are inaccessible due to sea mines laid by Ukraine itself. After all, the Russian Ministry of Defense published time windows and corridors for the possible exit of foreign ships from Ukrainian waters for the first time on Thursday. However, Kyiv is responsible for the security of the port exit.

Asked about the visit from Chancellor Olaf Scholz expected by Kyiv, Schulze only said that he was in constant contact with President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. Unlike several other Western heads of state and government, Scholz has so far refrained from visiting Ukraine. Two and a half weeks ago, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was the first member of the government to travel to Kyiv since the beginning of the war. At the beginning of May, opposition leader Friedrich Merz and Bundestag President Bärbel Bas had visited Kyiv as high-ranking German politicians. During her visit, Schulze wanted to meet Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal and his deputy Iryna Wereschtschuk.