Feb 19, 2022 - World

German chancellor points to "indications" that Kremlin is still open to dialogue

German chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks at the 2022 Munich Security Conference on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany. Photo: Alexandra Beier/Getty Images

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Saturday that there are "important indications" that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could still be avoided through diplomacy, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Any attack would be a "serious mistake" with high "political, economic and geostrategic costs," Scholz added on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference.

  • Scholz said that the Kremlin signaled openness to negotiations, pointing to a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, per Reuters.
  • "We will differentiate clearly between untenable demands and legitimate security interests," Scholz said.

State of play: Vice President Kamala Harris warned Russia on Saturday that it would face "unprecedented economic costs" if it invades Ukraine, one day after President Biden said that he is "convinced" Putin has made the decision to invade.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Western inaction against Russian aggression on Saturday, saying Ukraine has acted as a "shield" for the past eight years.

What he's saying: "If you go back far enough in the history books you can find grounds for wars that last a few hundred years and destroy our entire continent," Scholz said.

  • "Peace can only be preserved in Europe if borders are no longer shifted around."

Go deeper: Ukraine's president criticizes Western "appeasement" of Putin's aggression

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