German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated in an interview with Heilbronner Stimme on Nov. 12 that he would hold talks with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin if the Russian leader withdrew his troops from Ukraine.
Scholz reportedly told the newspaper that he has had discussions with Russia's President in the past and will do so again in the future. Nevertheless, "Russia must take a decisive step before negotiations: withdrawal of troops."
Ukraine's allies have not officially supported negotiations with Russia beyond Ukraine's peace formula.
The 10-point plan, presented by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky back in Nov. 2022, calls for the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from illegally-occupied Ukrainian lands and the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity.
Although many Western allies do not expect Russia to engage in meaningful peace talks, Western support for Ukraine has wavered in recent months. Partisan battles over aid funding have caused turmoil in the U.S. House of Representatives, while some E.U. leaders have withrawn military support or admitted to "tiredness" over the war.
Earlier this week, Germany's coalition government agreed to double the budget for military aid for Ukraine in 2024.
While four billion euros ($4.3 billion) was the amount initially allocated for military aid for Ukraine in the draft 2024 budget, the government made the decision to increase that number to eight billion euros ($8.6 billion).
Germany is the world's second provider of military aid to Ukraine after the United States.