German govt declines to confirm Scholz will go to Kyiv on Thursday

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BERLIN, June 13 (Reuters) – A German government spokesperson declined to confirm a media report on Monday that Chancellor Olaf Scholz would travel to Kyiv on Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Online magazine Focus, citing Italian newspaper La Stampa, earlier reported that the three European leaders would travel to the Ukrainian capital on Thursday, adding a specific date to a Bild am Sonntag report on Sunday that they planned to go before a Group of Seven summit at the end of June.

“We still do not confirm that,” the spokesperson said.

Scholz, who has not been to Kyiv since the start of the war, has faced criticism abroad for his caution in supplying Ukraine with heavy arms such as tanks and howitzers, and has been forced to reject criticism that Berlin is not showing leadership.

At home, frustration has also grown among Scholz’s junior coalition partners over what they say are shortcomings in his leadership on Ukraine, an internal rift that risks undermining Western unity against Russia.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Gareth Jones

Photo: Chancellor Olaf Scholz . Bundesregierung

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