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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, right, speaks during a joint press conference with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday June 9, 2021.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, right, speaks during a joint press conference with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday June 9, 2021. (John Macdougall, Pool via AP)

BERLIN — Ukraine's foreign minister said Wednesday that he hoped allies such as Germany won't regret turning down his country's request for arms deliveries should Russia launch an attack.

Dmytro Kuleba broached the sensitive subject with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas during a meeting in Berlin, where both men insisted on the need for a political solution to the long-running conflict between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Germany has ruled out supplying arms to Ukraine, a stance that Maas reiterated Wednesday during a news conference, stressing his county's desire to act as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia over the conflict.

Citing a recent call with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Maas said the conversation "would have been significantly shorter than it actually was if at the same time I had announced that we've decided to supply one party to the conflict with weapons."

Kuleba said Kyiv appreciated Germany's decision to concentrate on finding a political solution but added that if those efforts fail and Russia attacks his country, then "Ukraine will be in a weak position because Russia has much better weapons."

"I very much hope it won't come to that," Kuleba said, speaking through an interpreter. "I very much hope that nobody will regret that they didn't help improve the chances that Ukraine can defend itself."

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