Germany hits back at Britain over claim it is ‘over-eager’ for early peace deal

Berlin has, however, rejected claims that it is going soft on the Kremlin, insisting it has delivered the second-largest arms shipments to Kyiv.

Steffen Hebestreit, a spokesman for the German chancellor, said: “First of all, I would like to convey to you my astonishment at the claim that has been circulated, which is not only absurd but also not covered by any facts.

“The German government has broken with a decades-old stance and launched large-scale arms deliveries to Ukraine. Germany supports Ukraine with humanitarian, financial and military aid. And this support continues. Just this week, further extensive deliveries of military equipment have been agreed upon.”

Peace talks resumed on Friday, as Moscow accused Kyiv of carrying out its first airstrike on Russian soil – further dampening hopes of any de-escalation.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian military officials said Russian troops were continuing to shift their focus away from the capital and onto the Donbas.

“The main efforts of the Russian occupiers are aimed at defending the previously occupied borders, regrouping and withdrawing troops to the territory of the Republic of Belarus to restore combat capability,” they added.

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