For months, Germany has worked on what it calls a “diplomatic solution” of the Ukraine conflict. Apparently, those efforts did not keep Vladimir Putin from doing what he intended to do all along. His actions are being condemned in Berlin.
Berlin, February 22nd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Since it took over, Germany’s new government has been dealing with the Ukraine crisis Russia’s leadership caused 24/7. At this moment, it looks like the efforts have failed. Has Germany’s insistence to stick to diplomacy and its refusal to send weapons to Ukraine indirectly contributed to the latest escalation? Once again, the Federal Republic had to learn that autocrats are not really impressed by this kind of approach and that the kind of diplomacy it chose has limits.
In Berlin, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the self-proclaimed ‘People’s Republics’ in eastern Ukraine was a “hard blow” to all diplomatic efforts for a peaceful, political solution of the conflict. She called the move an “infringement of international law”. The Russian President had deliberately annulled the efforts that had been made in the Normandy Format and by the OSCE, without comprehensible reasons.
The recognition also was an additional breach of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Mrs. Baerbock said the German government condemned the move in the strongest possible terms. Germany still stood by Ukraine’s side in its internationally recognized borders. “We will react to this breach of international law” in coordination with “our partners”, the Minister stated. She also accused Moscow of acting against U.N. Resolution no. 2022 about the implementation of the Minsk Protocol.
‘Scenario of Intimidation’
Russia needed to retract its decision and return to the path of a diplomatic and political conflict resolution within the meaning of the agreement, Annalena Baerbock said. She also demanded from Moscow to remove its “scenario of intimidation” along Ukraine’s borders. Since she said so on Monday night, Putin gave his troops the order to enter the regions controlled by Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine for what he called a “peacekeeping mission”. This is what CNN just reported.
Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Antje Leendertse said Russia had now demonstrated its real intentions. She called on President Putin to return to diplomacy. Just before the U.N. Security Council convened on the matter, Mrs. Leendertse stated Russia had repeatedly insisted it was not part of the conflict. Today, it had shown that the opposite was the case. With its partners, Germany would take “decisive and appropriate measures”. Russia’s approach would have “economic, political and geostrategic consequences”. Before her, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had used those words at the Munich Security Conference this past weekend.
Sergey Lagodnisky, a Green MEP in Brussels, said Putin was in fact claiming all parts of the former Russian Empire. This was very dangerous. In an interview with the ‘Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland’, Lagodinsky stated the Ukrainian people was not a foreign dictator’s puppet.
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