German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was open to talking to Putin again and called for a "fair peace" to end the conflict. Meanwhile, two people were killed in a Russian strike on a Dnipro hospital.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed openness to speaking directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview published on Friday.
The remarks come amid strained ties between Russia and Germany following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Scholz and Putin held their last phone call in December 2022. The conversation lasted an hour, where Scholz urged Putin to withdraw his country's troops from Ukraine, while the Russian president accused the West of pursuing "destructive" policies in the region.
"My last telephone call was some time ago," Scholz told the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper in an interview. "But I plan to speak to Putin again in due course."
Scholz also said Germany would continue to "actively support Ukraine," but "at the same time prevent a direct conflict between NATO and Russia."
"And never to act alone, but in close coordination with our friends and allies," he added.
On the subject of a possible negotiation to end the war, Scholz said Putin had to understand that the war could not be ended by making "some kind of cold peace" that would turn "the current frontline into the new 'border' between Russia and Ukraine."
"It is about a fair peace, and the prerequisite for that is the withdrawal of Russian troops," Scholz said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin is ready for a new telephone call with Scholz.
"It is necessary to talk," Peskov said. "President Putin remains open to dialogue, but of course pursues the fundamental goal of protecting the interests of our citizens."