Zelensky arrived in Germany, Aachen first Ukrainian president with prestigious award | Abroad

UpdateAfter a visit to Rome, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky landed in Berlin on Saturday night. It is his first visit to Germany since the Russians invaded Ukraine in February last year. Zelensky himself announced his arrival in Germany on Twitter.

For security reasons, the exact program of the Ukrainian president will not be disclosed. But there is speculation that he will be received by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The prestigious Charlemagne Prize will be awarded to Zelensky and the Ukrainian people on Sunday afternoon in Aachen. The prize has been awarded annually since 1950 to people who – following the example of Charlemagne – are committed to European unity. It remains uncertain until the last moment whether Zelensky himself will be present to receive the prize. The prize is also intended to support Ukraine in the negotiations for accession to the European Union. In December, the prize was awarded to Zelensky and to the Ukrainian people.

The city center of Aachen was cordoned off on Sunday and very strict safety regulations apply. A large police force is on the move, partly because at least six demonstrations have been announced in Aachen between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. According to the police, hundreds of protesters are demanding an end to arms deliveries to Ukraine on Sunday. Among them are both peace activists and pro-Russian demonstrators.

The ceremony in Aachen’s town hall starts at 3.30 pm and will last about an hour and a half. Zelensky or his representative will be addressed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Zelensky’s visit to Germany had already been confirmed by the German government on Saturday. At the time, it also promised to supply extra weapons to Ukraine, worth 2.7 billion euros.

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