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German Chancellor plans Surprise for Russia, No Sanctions for Now

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday rejected calls to sanction Russia now, saying that Moscow should not be sure “exactly” how the West will react.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has rejected calls from the Ukrainian president to punish Russia now, saying Moscow should not “be sure” exactly how Western countries will react to possible attacks.

Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the annual Munich German Security Conference, Scholz said Western allies were “well prepared” to punish Russia – and soon – if it attacked Ukraine. But he said these steps should always be a last resort in the hope that a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict will be found.

“It is better to say we did it then, than to do it now, because we want to avoid this situation,” he said, referring to sanctions imposed on Russia. “We want to go where peace is possible.”

Russia has repeatedly denied plans to invade Ukraine, but many Western officials have said this week the country is increasing its military presence at its border.

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Scholz would not specify what sanctions Russia might impose on Ukraine. Instead, he said, Moscow should know “almost” and not “directly” the consequences.

“The Russian government cannot be really sure exactly what we’ll do”

-Olaf Scholz
German Chancellor

This is in stark contrast to other Western leaders who have made specific statements about how Russia could hurt the economy, especially with sanctions against power.

“My view is that it does not make sense to put oneself in the community. “It is good that we are waiting for the Russian government to be sure of what we will do,” he said.

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“They’ll probably know what we’re talking about, but they won’t know for sure.”

His comments come after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday reiterated his calls for sanctions now, saying Western countries should abandon their “consolation” policy in Russia.

“We have a right – the right to demand a change of condolence policy to ensure security and peace,” Zelensky said at the Munich Security Conference.

“There is no such thing as ‘this is not my war’ in the 21st century. This is not about the war in Ukraine, this is about the war in Europe. “
Russia opens ballistic missiles and cruises

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In a demonstration of its military prowess, Russia on Saturday unveiled missiles and naval missiles as part of a “strategic plan to prevent troops.”

President Joe Biden said on Friday the United States believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin could invade Ukraine “in the coming days.”

“We have reason to believe that Russian troops are planning and intending to invade Ukraine next week, in the coming days,” Biden said in a White House statement on Friday, noting that any such attack could be directed at the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

It comes after U.S. intelligence agencies said Moscow had added about 7,000 troops to the Ukrainian border this week, taking their estimated number of troops to about 150,000. Russian troops have also been sent to Belarus, an ally of northern Ukraine.

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Earlier this week, the Russian government said it had begun repatriating some troops to their homes. However, the president of Ukraine and Western officials have called for a warning to be taken seriously in Moscow.

Ukraine and its Western allies have warned that Russia could create a “false flag” event – in which it will carry out a real or imagined attack on its troops – to make excuses to attack Ukraine.

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