German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised the mediation efforts by the United Nations and Türkiye, saying they made grain exports from Ukraine possible and "deserve great respect."
Addressing the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Scholz said Germany is "also supporting Ukraine with the export of food," adding that his country will stand by Ukraine in terms of shouldering the "enormous cost" of rebuilding.
Describing the Russian war on Ukraine as "imperialism," he went on to say: "The return of imperialism is not only a disaster for Europe, but it is also a disaster for our global peaceful order, which is the antithesis of imperialism and neocolonialism."
The German leader said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will only give up on his imperialist ambitions "if he realizes he cannot win" and warned that he is not only destroying Ukraine but also ruining his own country.
"This is why we will not accept a peace dictated by Russia. This is why we will not accept any pretentious referendum and this is why Ukraine must be able to defend itself against Russia's invasion," Scholz said.
The Russian-controlled Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia have announced they will hold referendums to become a part of Russia later this week.