Russian President Vladimir Putin does not realize the invasion of Ukraine is a mistake, German chancellor Olaf Scholz said after the leaders spoke on the phone on Tuesday, the BBC reports.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Scholz said he urged Putin to withdraw troops and re-enter talks with Ukraine during the 90-minute call.
He called for Russia to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine.
The chancellor has come under pressure to increase military support for Kyiv.
Scholz said the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine would be the only way for “peace to have a chance in the region.”
Although he said Putin “unfortunately” had not changed his position on the invasion, Scholz emphasized the importance of continuing to talk to him.
“It is right to speak with each other, and to say what there is to say on this subject,” Scholz said.
He also claimed the weapons Germany had supplied to Ukraine had been “decisive” and “made the difference” in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has criticised Germany for not sending more weapons. He wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that Ukraine needed more military support “to liberate people and save them from genocide.”
Commenting on the phone call with Scholz, the Kremlin blamed Ukraine for the continued violence.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has challenged Berlin’s long-standing diplomatic approach toward Moscow — on whose oil and gas its economy has recently relied.
Earlier this year, Scholz reversed a decades-long German policy of military restraint by announcing the country would seek to spend 2% of GDP on military spending, in keeping with NATO targets.