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Scholz: Russian air attacks on Kyiv are 'war crimes'

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Berlin, Oct 20: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for recent drone attacks on civilians in the Ukrainian capital and other cities, saying they constituted "war crimes."

He was speaking at the Bundestag, the German parliament, shortly ahead of a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

"Deliberate attacks on civilians are war crimes," he said. "In the end, Russia's bombing and missile terror is an act of desperation — just like the mobilization of Russian men for war."

Moscow has denied it deliberately targeted civilians, and claims its recent strikes hit "infrastructure targets" and arms depots.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz tests positive for Covid, has mild symptomsGerman chancellor Olaf Scholz tests positive for Covid, has mild symptoms

The German chancellor reiterated Berlin's support for Ukraine to defend itself "as long as it takes," and stressed that the West must help Ukrainians to rebuild their country.

Nina Hasse, DW's correspondent in the Bundestag, said Scholz was trying to convince German voters that support for Ukraine will take time and will require sacrifice.

"The war and its consequences will keep us busy for many years to come," Scholz said during his statement.

Energy crisis

"Putin hoped to blackmail us by turning off the gas tap," Scholz told lawmakers. "But there, too, he miscalculated," he added, stressing that alternative gas supplies from European countries, the United States and the Middle East have been secured.

The government recently announced that Germany had filled its gas storage facilities to 95% before the set deadline, but energy prices are soaring across EU countries.

Scholz, speaking before heading to Brussels for the EU summit where leaders will discuss the issue, raised concern over a proposed EU gas price ceiling.

Capping gas prices "carries the risk that producers will then sell their gas elsewhere, and we Europeans will end up with less gas instead of more," he said.

Germany's Olaf Scholz talks energy supply with UAE leadersGermany's Olaf Scholz talks energy supply with UAE leaders

"That is why the EU must coordinate closely with other gas consumers, for example with Japan and Korea, so that we do not compete with each other."

Some EU countries are split over a united strategy toward a cap on energy prices. Italy, Poland and Greece are among those calling for a pan-European wholesale price cap on gas. Germany and the Netherlands are against such a move, fearing it would hurt the global supply and demand of gas.

Source: DW

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