Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck has arrived in Ukraine for political talks. The Green politician arrived in the capital Kiev on Monday morning with a small delegation of German business representatives. Topics of the trip are the reconstruction of the Ukraine attacked by Russia and cooperation in the energy sector.

The purpose of the trip is to give Ukraine a clear signal, Habeck said upon his arrival at the Kiev train station. A sign “that we believe that it will be victorious, that it will be rebuilt, that there is an interest in Europe not only to provide support in times of need, but that Ukraine will also be an economically strong partner in the future “.

Habeck is traveling to the country for the first time since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year – and for the first time ever as Federal Minister. He only wanted to come if he could bring something with him, said the minister on the outward journey in a special train. What is that? “A business delegation that gives Ukraine hope that there will be post-war reconstruction.”

“Concrete investment decisions” have either already been made or are yet to be made, explained Habeck. Now the German economy is saying: ‘We can do it again’ – and I wanted to bring this signal back to my Ukrainian friends.” His current trip was actually planned for last autumn, but was then postponed because of the Russian winter offensive in Ukraine must be, said Habeck. “Now is the moment then.”

The President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Siegfried Russwurm, who is accompanying Habeck as one of several business representatives, described the trip as a “signal to the Ukrainians that the German economy also stands by them”. In addition, many German companies are still active in Ukraine and it is important to understand their problems and to focus on the reconstruction of the country. “And that build-up begins now, not after a peace agreement.”

Habeck was last in May 2021 as Green Party chairman in Ukraine – a trip of which he “still has very strong memories”, as he said. During a visit to what was then the front line in eastern Ukraine, Habeck, as an opposition politician, spoke out in favor of the delivery of “defensive weapons” to the country attacked by Russia. At this point, the initiative caused dismay in his own party, and the federal government, which was still led by the grand coalition, rejected the demand.