Cartoon EU, Russia and Ukraine

The mediator

Published on 15 February 2022 at 15:54

After Emmanuel Macron's efforts in Moscow, this week was the turn of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to sit at the negotiating table with Vladimir Putin, who has mobilised around 150,000 troops at the Ukrainian border to discourage NATO from including Ukraine in its international military alliance.

Arriving in Kiev on 14 February to meet and offer support to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the German Chancellor saw Vladimir Putin the following day. He had the delicate task of keeping communication channels open while reaffirming the threat of sanctions in case of Russian aggression, all while the United States speaks of imminent invasion.

While the Ukrainians may perceive him as soft, Scholz’s intervention was seen by some as one last chance to preserve peace in the region. Despite the threat of heavy sanctions, Putin has yet to reveal his intentions, stating that "negotiations are far from exhausted".

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