BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declined to comment Monday on reports that he is planning to visit Ukraine together with his counterparts from France and Italy soon.

Weekly Bild am Sonntag had reported that Scholz would travel to Kyiv with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Premier Mario Draghi Berlin before this month’s summit of leaders from the Group of Seven major economies in Germany.

Several other European leaders, Germany’s opposition leader and members of Scholz’s own Cabinet have visited Ukraine in recent weeks to express solidarity with the country in the face of Russia’s military assault, raising the pressure on the German chancellor to do likewise.

Scholz fobbed off questions about the reported travel plans, saying that he wouldn’t go beyond what his spokesperson had told reporters earlier in the day. The spokesperson had declined to discuss the reports.

While Germany has contributed considerable financial and military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion three months ago, Scholz’s government has been criticized both at home and abroad for being slower to do so than the United States and some smaller European countries.

Scholz pushed back against such criticism Monday, saying that the advanced howitzers Germany is providing to Ukraine, for example, require extensive training before they can be used.

“I think it would be good if those who express their views on this or that issue spent a moment thinking about it first,” he said.


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