Germany’s Scholz Says Talks With Putin Always Friendly in Tone

SPD election candidate Olaf Scholz visits a hybrid power station in Brandenburg. Four weeks before the Bundestag elections, the three candidates hoping to be the next German chancellor clash in a first live television debate on Sunday, with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) still surging in the polls. Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shared a rare glimpse into his phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that these negotiations are always amicable in tone despite the leaders’ widely diverging opinions.

“If I summarize all the conversations I have had with him [President Putin] recently, there has certainly been some progress,” Scholz told the Deutschlandfunk broadcaster, adding that “the tone always remains friendly” even though their views on the Ukraine crisis are “very different.”

The German leader also noted the importance of dialogue with Russia, naming some of the topics addressed in talks. According to Scholz, he discussed humanitarian matters, such as grain exports and access to the captured soldiers, besides “the demands to withdraw troops.”

Putin and Scholz held a 90-minute phone conversation on Tuesday, discussing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and other related issues.

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