While a diplomatic breakthrough was highly unlikely after visits of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Kiev and Moscow, the agenda represented part of diplomatic contacts that needed to be established by the newly appointed chancellor.

The political scientist, Tanguy de Wilde d’Estmael from Belgium’s UCLouvain, told Sputnik.

Scholz met with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev on Monday and was due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in Moscow.

“For Olaf Stolz, who is the only Chancellor of Germany since last December, it is his first major file.

“He is still an unknown quantity as far as his diplomatic skills are concerned.

“He was perceived until now in the last German government as a rather dull character in the shadow of his predecessor Angela Merkel, but this Ukrainian question is really hot stuff,” d’Estmael said.

He went on to say that the incumbent ruling coalition of Germany was hardly ready to “go to war’’ over Russia-West tensions around Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Putin pledges no new Ukraine excalation —Macron

“That is also the reason why he will be treated with consideration in Moscow.

“Germany is a very heavy economic partner for Russia too, and one can expect the voice of reason to come from Scholz,’’ the scientist said.

The chancellor’s meetings with Russian and Ukrainian leaders were just as important as those of French President Emmanuel Macron, held on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, respectively, d’Estmael explained.

“I do not have high expectations but Scholz’s visit is a part of the diplomatic contacts that need to be established,” he said.

As long as visits of world leaders continue, the diplomatic point of no return has not been reached, which is a good sign, the expert noted.

He added that all countries involved in the ongoing tensions were interested in preventing escalation and avoiding war at all costs.


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