Scholz speaks to Putin after weeks of radio silence

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Scholz speaks to Putin after weeks of radio silence

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Ukraine during a telephone call on Friday, the Kremlin announced, reported dpa.

The call, which was the first conversation between the two leaders in over six weeks, had been initiated by the Germans, according to Putin's office. Berlin provided no immediate information.

Earlier in the day, Scholz informed lawmakers of the scheduled call, according to participants in a defence committee meeting at the Bundestag in Berlin.

The aim of the call was "to find a way out of this dreadful war with its awful number of victims, mass destruction and all the senselessness that war brings," German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said.

The Kremlin said Putin had provided "detailed" information on Russia's goals in Ukraine, with a focus on its humanitarian goals. It was agreed that the discussion would be continued "through various channels."

Putin also pointed out "gross violations of the norms of international law by fighters who profess Nazi ideology," according to the Kremlin.

Russia has repeatedly sought to justify its war against Ukraine by claiming its aim the "denazification" of its neighbour, despite there being no evidence to support such a claim.

Scholz spoke to Putin by telephone several times following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with their last call taking place on March 30. Days later, news emerged of the massacre in the town of Bucha near Kiev.

For a period, French President Emmanuel Macron also had no contact with Putin. However, they spoke again by phone on May 3, while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited Putin in Moscow in April in an attempt to de-escalate the conflict.

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