Germany on Wednesday pledged continued support to Ukraine against Russia’s war on the country, but ruled out sending fighter jets.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz clarified his government’s position during a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Berlin.
“We should think very carefully about what we can do concretely, and certainly warplanes are not part of this,” he said, after Poland offered to hand over all its MIG-29 fighters to a US base in Germany, for use by Ukraine.
Scholz recalled that Germany already provided defensive military equipment and weapons to Ukraine, and will carefully consider its next steps, in consultation with the allies.
He called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to agree to an immediate cease-fire and withdraw the Russian troops from Ukraine.
“What we need now is a diplomatic solution,” he stressed.
“We hope that a solution can be found in the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, and that we can identify a path leading us out of this crisis,” he added.
At least 474 civilians have been killed and 864 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war against its neighbor, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher.
More than 2.1 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency.