German Chancellor says Putin cannot be allowed to dictate peace terms

Cnn staff

It’s impossible to “switch off” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “imperialist” aims, the German Chancellor said Thursday.

In his closing speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Olaf Scholz said that the horrors in Ukraine cannot be ignored.

“It keeps us up at night … will it expand beyond the borders of Ukraine?”

He said Putin will only seriously negotiate peace if his army can’t break Ukrainian defensive forces, with neither Ukraine nor the European Union accepting peace dictated by Putin.

Scholz’s comments come after Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky criticized Henry Kissinger’s remarks after the former US Secretary of State appeared to suggest that Ukraine agree to give up much of the Donbas and Crimea. Zelensky on Wednesday compared Kissenger’s views to appeasement of Nazi Germany in 1938.

Meanwhile, Scholz said that NATO “will not become a party to this war,” as that would put nuclear powers in opposition to each other. He added that Germany will welcome Sweden and Finland into NATO with “open arms.”

Earlier, Scholz spoke of the war’s impact on the international community, stressing “we cannot let Putin win this war, and I firmly believe he will not win it.”

He added that his country would be ready to defend itself at all times in light of Russia’s actions.

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