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Germany’s Scholz vows support for Ukraine as long as necessary on Independence Day

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Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday assured Kyiv of Germany’s support for as long as necessary, as Ukraine marked both its Independence Day and six months since the start of the Russian invasion.

“Germany... stands firmly by the side of the threatened Ukraine today and for as long as Ukraine needs our support,” Scholz said in a video posted on Twitter.

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“We will continue to supply weapons” and “train Ukrainian soldiers on the latest European military equipment,” Scholz said after announcing fresh deliveries worth more than 500 million euros ($500 million) on Tuesday.

The new tranche of weapons -- including three IRIS-T anti-aircraft systems as well as armed recovery vehicles and rocket-launchers -- is mostly earmarked for delivery in 2023.

“We will continue our sanctions. We will support Ukraine financially and help rebuild the destroyed cities and villages,” Scholz said.

The chancellor also said Berlin would be hosting an international reconstruction conference in October to help set “the course for the future of Ukraine.”

Ukraine has a “firm place” in Europe and the “blue and yellow [of the Ukrainian flag] and Europe’s blue and yellow circle of stars belong together,” he said.

The Ukrainian national day comes amid high tensions exactly six months after Russian forces entered Ukraine on February 24.

Explosions on Wednesday rang out in several cities, including Kharkiv, Zaporizhia and Dnipro, according to local authorities.

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