Volodymyr Zelensky arrives in Berlin for first visit to Germany since Russia’s invasion

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Germany for its support as he arrived in Berlin for talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Zelensky said his country is preparing a counteroffensive designed to liberate Russian-held parts of his country.

In order to aid Ukraine, Mr Scholz pledged that Germany will support the country “for as long as necessary.”

Mr Zelensky was welcomed with military honours on Sunday as he made his first visit to Germany since Russia’s invasion.

The Ukrainian president is visiting allies in search of further arms deliveries to help his country fend off the Russian invasion.

After meeting Mr Scholz and other senior officials at the chancellery, the two leaders are expected to fly to the western city of Aachen where Mr Zelensky will receive the International Charlemagne Prize awarded to him and the people of Ukraine.

Organisers say the award recognises that their resistance against Russia’s invasion is a defence “not just of the sovereignty of their country and the life of its citizens, but also of Europe and European values.”

On the eve of his arrival — which is taking place amid tight security — the German government announced a new package of military aid for Ukraine worth more than 2.7billion euros (£2.4billion), including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition.

“Already in Berlin. Weapons. Powerful package. Air defence. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Security,” Mr Zelensky tweeted Sunday, in an apparent reference to the key priorities of his trip.

It comes after Mr Zelensky met with Pope Francis and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni in Rome on Saturday.