Berlin, June 24. Chancellor Markus Söder (CSU) is confident that he can clear up the recent irritations in relation to his counterparts from France and Italy before the G-7 summit at Schloss Elmau. This will be clarified on Saturday “under eight eyes” at lunch in Nuremberg’s Bratwurst-Röslein, said Söder. “The door closes and then there’s just me, Emmanuel, Mario and the photographer from the picture-Zeitung.” French President Macron and Italian Prime Minister Draghi had accused Söder of deliberately arriving several hours before the agreed time during a jointly planned visit to Kyiv. Söder therefore initially appeared alone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and had handed over 350 self-propelled howitzers to the Ukrainian army at a ceremony on the Maidan.
The Chancellor made it clear on Friday that he had only missed the agreed train in Przemysl in eastern Poland. “Then I had to take the Learjet,” said Söder. He expressly regrets that: “I was really looking forward to the social hours with Manu and Mario.” On the other hand, it is “also very important to document that it’s not just about going to Kyiv in a sleeper car.” The Elysee Palace said it was expected that “the taunts from Berlin” would finally stop before the summit. Macron had already touched Söder visibly at the press conference with Selenskyi in Kyiv: “Markus, leave it. Markus, why are you saying that again?” The scene has so far had 2.3 billion hits on YouTube, 1.7 billion of them in Bavaria alone.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, the Chancellor has visited Ukraine a total of 19 times. He was, said Söder, “honestly more often in Kyiv than his colleagues from all other EU countries combined”. A twentieth trip this week, on which he wanted to inform Selenskyj about the 250 billion package for the Bundeswehr, he had to cancel at short notice in order to be able to take part in the ceremonial restart of the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant. Söder confirmed on Friday that Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) will continue to carry out his official duties from Podgorica: “With the Vice-Chancellor’s eight-month visit to Montenegro, we are emphasizing our appreciation for all EU accession candidates in the Western Balkans.”