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There is a great danger of a further escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Süddeutsche Zeitung.
“Russia must realize that this cannot continue. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin must end the war, withdraw troops, and thus create the possibility for mutual understanding,” Scholz said.
The chancellor said that Germany must “not let the thread of talks with Russia be broken.”
“If we don't speak, Russia is even less likely to end the war,” he said, adding that Germany must “prevent a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia."
Scholz said that talking with the Kremlin is needed to end Russia's war and for Ukraine to regain its territorial integrity.
The Institute for the Study of War said on Dec. 2 that Russia would gain from talks with Ukraine that involve a ceasefire because it would have time to organize its forces for additional offensives against Ukraine.
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Burns said on Dec. 16 that Russia is using negotiations not to seek peace.
"It's not our assessment that the Russians are serious at this point about a real negotiation," Burns told PBS.