Two members of the traffic light government are visiting Ukraine: Minister of Agriculture Özdemir is exploring alternative routes for wheat exports in Kyiv, and the Minister of Health is organizing German aid for war invalids. And Lauterbach emphasizes that they are also there on behalf of Scholz.
During a visit to Ukraine, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach pledged support for the care of the seriously injured. "Ukraine needs humanitarian aid just as urgently as our military support," said the SPD politician in Lviv, western Ukraine, according to a statement from his ministry. Lauterbach was received by his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Lyashko. In Lemberg, Lauterbach wanted to take part in a donor conference to set up a rehabilitation center for war invalids. The program also included visiting several hospitals.
The aim of the visit is, among other things, to support Ukraine in setting up trauma centers for the injured, according to the ministry. "So much misery has arisen here as a result of this barbaric war of aggression," said Lauterbach in the ARD "Morgenmagazin". He is on the road with a team of surgeons and specialists "to help with the care of seriously injured people with burns - that's where we want to train, that's where we want to build up," Lauterbach said in the morning from Poland.
Specifically, the federal government wants to support the installation and operation of container workshops for the production of prostheses. 200 surgeons and emergency physicians have offered to work in Ukraine through the German Medical Association. Lauterbach said: "Children step on mines, lose limbs. Blocks of flats are shelled, and innocent civilians and children are seriously injured." The Russian armed forces bombed health facilities, sometimes several times a day. "Ukraine needs humanitarian aid just as badly as it needs our military support."
The Minister of Health also referred to the simultaneous visit to Ukraine by Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir on ARD. "We are doing a humanitarian initiative here on behalf of the entire federal government, including Olaf Scholz," said Lauterbach, referring to the Chancellor. Despite repeated invitations from Kyiv, he has not yet traveled to the war-torn country.
Özdemir promised German help to keep Ukraine's agriculture and exports alive despite Russia's ongoing war against the country. "The success of Ukrainian agriculture is not only important for Ukraine, it is important for all of us," said the Green politician during a visit to an agricultural college in Nemishayeva near Kyiv with a view to exports for global food security. At the start of his visit, Özdemir met his counterpart Mykola Solskyj in Kyiv. The most important question is that the war started by Russian President Vladimir Putin ends as soon as possible, emphasized Özdemir after the meeting. All the problems with the food supply in Ukraine and the rest of the world, for which Ukraine has traditionally played an important role, would not exist without Putin's "cowardly war of aggression."
The conversation was therefore also about finding alternative ways for agricultural exports in view of blocked ports. He shares Ukraine's skepticism that Russia is said to be willing to allow corridors across the Black Sea, Özdemir said. "It would be kamikaze for Ukraine to take Putin's word without credible, effective military guarantees that the security of Ukrainian ports and ships is assured."
Ukrainian Minister Solskyj thanked Özdemir for the visit and support. Exports have fallen by a third compared to pre-war times. But we are working on that. As concrete aid, Özdemir announced, among other things, 500,000 euros to expand laboratory capacities in Izmail on the border with Romania in order to speed up the processing of agricultural exports. In addition, Germany wants to provide five million euros for veterinary medicines.