BERLIN, July 10. /TASS/. Germany’s former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (1998-2005) said he doesn’t think it expedient to refuse from contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine and stands for diplomatic settlement.
"I would not refuse from my possibilities of speaking with President Putin," he said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, which came out on Sunday.
He stressed that the situation should have a diplomatic solution. "The fate of Ukrainian servicemen and civilians can be alleviated only through a diplomatic solution," he said.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aimed to demilitarize and denazify the country. After that, the West began to impose large-scale sanctions on Russia and intensify weapons supplies to Ukraine.