KYIV: German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday for an unannounced visit to show Berlin’s continued support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
Pistorius arrived by train and is scheduled to hold discussions with his Ukrainian counterpart and President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Germany, the second-largest provider of military aid to Kyiv after the United States, aims to provide reassurances amidst concerns about diminishing support for Ukraine due to the focus on the Middle East conflict.
The visit comes as Russian air attacks on Ukraine increase, and Kyiv prepares for a rise in strikes on the country’s energy facilities during the upcoming winter months.
This marks Pistorius’s second visit to Kyiv since becoming defence minister at the beginning of the year, following a recent unannounced trip to Ukraine by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
In addition to political discussions, Pistorius will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Kyiv’s Maidan square and visit a military training center.
Following Russia’s invasion, Germany significantly increased its support for Ukraine, providing an extensive range of armaments including heavy battle tanks, air defense systems, and ammunition.
The conflict has also prompted the government to initiate a military overhaul, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz unveiling a 100-billion-euro ($109-billion) fund to strengthen the armed forces.
In light of Germany’s strong support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, Scholz affirmed last month that Germany will continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary.