18 Apr 2024 11:15

German vice chancellor starts unannounced visit to Kiev

BERLIN. April 18 (Interfax) - German Vice Chancellor, Economy Minister Robert Habeck has started an unannounced visit to Kiev, Bild said on Thursday.

"He said upon arrival that it was neither a one-time nor emergency visit and Germany would be supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary," Bild said.

This is the second visit paid by Habeck to Ukraine since the start of Russia's special military operation in February 2022. This time, he is accompanied by a business delegation.

The talks in Kiev will address the status of Ukraine's energy infrastructure, emergency assistance, economic recovery, and German-Ukrainian economic relations.

Helmut Rauch, CEO of Diehl Defense that makes IRIS-T SLM air defense missile systems, is among those accompanying Habeck on the visit. Rauch told Bild that Ukraine had been provided with three systems of the kind, and "the deliveries will continue this year. Another system will be supplied in several weeks."

The post-crisis future of Ukraine is also on the agenda. Berlin will host the next Ukraine Recovery Conference in mid-June.