German President Frank Steinmeier will travel to Romania on Wednesday to meet his counterpart Klaus Iohannis “for political talks” and to also “get a picture of the situation of refugees from Ukraine” in the neighboring country, his office said.
He will also have talks with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
The two presidents will talk about regional and trans-Atlantic security and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, Agerpres reported.
Mr Iohannis and Mr Steinmeier, whose role is largely ceremonial, will discuss trade and economic cooperation. Bilateral trade was worth 35 billion euros last year and Germany is the third largest investor in Romania.
The visit will also mark thirty years since Romania and Germany signed a friendship treaty. a
While the trip may have offered an opportunity for Mr Steinmeier to continue from Bucharest to Kyiv via train, officials in Berlin said the president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should first speak via phone before an eventual visit could be planned, Politico reported.
The German president is a controversial figure in Ukraine because he is seen as a symbol of Germany’s soft line on Moscow before Russia’s invasion of the country.
Early last month, the president admitted it was a mistake to cling to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany for so long.
Ukrainian officials have criticized the German government for moving too slowly on issues like military equipment shipments and an embargo on Russian oil.