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German pushback on Trump claim it does little for Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, on Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) -- German officials are pushing back against suggestions by President Donald Trump that Berlin does little for Ukraine.

    Government spokesman Steffen Seibert declined Friday to comment directly on the rough transcript of a phone conversation released by the White House in which Trump tells Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that "Germany does almost nothing for you, all they do is talk."

    But Seibert said that "anyone who has spent the last years here has listened to us talk for hours about the great breadth of our efforts for the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, the direction of reforms in Ukraine."

    Foreign ministry spokesman Rainer Breul cited figures showing Germany is the third-largest bilateral donor to Ukraine after the European Union and Washington.

    Breul added that "anyone who views this soberly will conclude Germany is strongly involved (in Ukraine)."

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