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Vice-president of German parliament arrives in Kyiv

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 12, 2024 4:04 PM 2 min read
Katrin Goring-Eckardt, the vice-president of the German parliament (Bundestag), arriving in Kyiv on Feb. 12, 2024. (Andreas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Katrin Goring-Eckhardt, the vice president of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, arrived in Kyiv on Feb. 12 for a week-long visit where she plans to discuss a number of priorities, including the thousands of Ukrainian children illegally abducted by Russia.

"On the way to Ukraine. Again. It's a crucial time for Ukraine, for the EU. It is about military support, reconstruction, freedom," Goring-Eckhardt said on Twitter.

"During my visit, I would also like to focus on the children who have been abducted and taken hostage in Russia."

Since February 2022, over 19,500 Ukrainian children have been identified as abducted from Russian-occupied territories and sent to Russia, Belarus, or other Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine, according to a Ukrainian national database on child abductees. Only 388 of them have been able to return home.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution calling on European leaders to make all efforts to return Ukrainian children abducted by Russia home, the Council of Europe's press service said in January 2024.

Goring-Eckhardt also reiterated calls for Germany to finally deliver long-range Taurus missiles in an interview with the German media outlet NTV after her arrival in Kyiv.

Taurus missiles have been the subject of extensive discussion since Ukraine submitted a request for the weapons, which have a range of up to 500 kilometers, in May 2023.

Bild reported in October that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is against sending Taurus missiles to Kyiv because he fears the move will draw Germany into the war. Ukraine has received other long-range missiles, such as the Storm Shadow from the U.K. and the French-made SCALP.

Defense firm denies German politician’s claim on missile supplies to Ukraine
The company effectively denied a statement made earlier by Johannes Arlt, an expert at Germany’s Social Democratic Party. He claimed that Germany’s defense industry would struggle to replenish its needed stockpiles if it sent the missiles to Ukraine.
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