German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius arrived in Kiev on Tuesday on a visit that wasn’t announced in advance, during which he intends to confirm his country’s support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces.
Pistorius arrived on a train to Kiev, where he will hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, as well as with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Berlin, the second largest supplier of military aid to Kiev after the United States, seeks to reassure Ukrainians who have feared, since the conflict erupted between Israel and Hamas a month and a half ago, that their Western allies’ attention will be diverted from them.
The German defense minister’s visit comes after the pace of Russian air strikes on Ukraine increased and at a time when Kiev expects the Russian army to increase its targeting of Ukrainian energy facilities during the coming winter months.
This is Pistorius’s second visit to Kiev since he took office at the beginning of the year.
The Ukrainian minister’s visit comes the day after a visit, also not previously announced, by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Ukraine.
In addition to his agenda of political discussions, Pistorius will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony in Maidan Square in central Kiev and will also visit a military training center.
Since the war broke out between Israel and Hamas on October 7, Germany has provided strong support to Israel in its war against Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip.
But German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised last month that his country would continue its aid to Kiev, saying, “We’ll support Ukraine as long as necessary”.