German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will make a fresh attempt at deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine after diplomatic efforts to avert war over the weekend failed to achieve a breakthrough.
Scholz, who will be in Kyiv Monday and Moscow on Tuesday, intends to "proceed with talks about the still very serious situation at the Ukrainian border. In Kyiv, it is important to me to express our continuous solidarity and support to Ukraine," Scholz wrote on Twitter.
“We urgently expect signs of de-escalation from Moscow. Further military aggression would have very serious consequences for Russia. I absolutely agree with our allies on this. We are experiencing a very, very serious threat to peace in Europe.”
This comes after a weekend of diplomacy which saw US President Joe Biden tell his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that the US would respond "swiftly and decisively" to further Russian aggression against Ukraine, according to a statement from the White House.
Biden spoke to Putin for around an hour on Saturday, but it did little to change Moscow's position. A senior administration official told reporters following the call that the discussion was substantive but the US fears Russia may still launch a military attack anyway.
The call between Biden and Putin came hours after the US moved some of its forces out of Ukraine and ordered the evacuation of most of its embassy staff on Saturday over invasion fears.