Munich (dpa) – The Munich Security Conference, which heads of state and government from all over the world have come to Germany to attend, is being dominated by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. At the start of the meeting, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reasserted his solidarity with Ukraine and defended the course he has been taking. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Western states and said he was confident of Russia’s defeat.
Scholz defended the weapon shipments to Ukraine, describing them as a way to help end the war earlier. “It is not the weapons we are supplying that are prolonging the war. The opposite is true,” said Scholz, adding that the sooner Russian President Vladimir Putin realises “that he will not achieve his imperialist goal, the greater the chances are of the war ending in the near future, and of Russia’s conquering troops withdrawing”.
The German chancellor reiterated his promise to increase German defence spending to the current Nato target level of two per cent of gross domestic product. “Germany will permanently raise its defence expenditure to two per cent of gross domestic product,” said Scholz.
Ukrainian President Zelensky firmly believes that Russia will be defeated in its war against his country in the coming months. “Goliath has already begun to lose. Goliath will definitely fall this year,” he said in a video link at the opening of the Munich Security Conference. He compared his country to David in the Bible, forced to defend itself against a Russian Goliath. Zelensky thanked the Western countries for the weapons supplied to help it defend itself against the Russian war of aggression: “There is no alternative to our victory, and there must be no alternative to our determination.”
Politicians and experts from 96 countries are expected to attend the Security Conference, which continues until Sunday. The Russian war of aggression that began a year ago is taking centre stage at the conference. The Russian leadership has not been invited for the first time in more than 20 years. Conference director Christoph Heusgen justified this by saying he did not want to give the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government a forum for their propaganda. The participants include 40 heads of state and government and nearly 100 ministers from around the world.
Originally published at https://www.deutschland.de/en/news/zelensky-and-scholz-open-munich-security-conference
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