Two and a half months after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has detected no change of heart in Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. The SPD politician said this in an interview published on Saturday by the news portal “t-online”. It is clear that Russia has not achieved any of the war goals mentioned at the beginning. “Slowly, Putin should realize that the only way out of this situation is to reach an agreement with Ukraine.”

The Ukraine was not conquered, but defended itself with great skill, courage and self-sacrifice. “NATO has not withdrawn, but has even increased its forces on the eastern flank of the alliance. And the alliance will be even stronger when Finland and Sweden join NATO.” The Russian military itself has suffered significant losses, far more than in the ten years of the Soviet Union’s Afghanistan campaign.

According to government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit, Scholz spoke to Putin on the phone for 75 minutes on Friday and called for an end to hostilities in Ukraine. He spoke plainly, said Scholz in the affirmative to a corresponding question from “t-online” – “and the Russian President too, by the way”. Such conversations only make sense “if you don’t talk around it”.