Still no mea culpa. Five months after claiming that she had no ” no excuses “ to present for her policy towards Russia, Angela Merkel persists and signs. In a long portrait published in the SpiegelSaturday, November 26, the former German chancellor responds once again to those who accuse her of having been too conciliatory with Moscow, at the risk of jeopardizing the security of Ukraine.
In his view, the criticism is unfounded. Returning to his last visit to the Kremlin, in August 2021, Mme Merkel assures that on this date she could no longer do much to influence the course of events. One month before the German legislative elections and three months before her departure from the chancellery, she was “politically finished”. Gold “For Putin, she explains, only power matters”. A revealing detail, according to her: during this final trip to Moscow, the Russian president was flanked by his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. A way of telling him that the time when she had the right to a one-on-one with him was over and that she was no longer the privileged interlocutor she had been for the previous fifteen years.
For meme Merkel, the problem is therefore not a lack of will on her part but a form of impotence. At the end of her fourth term, she was no longer able, she assures us, to convince Vladimir Putin to participate in the European summit that she wanted to organize with French President Emmanuel Macron, in the summer of 2021.
In his interview at Spiegel, the former German chancellor also reconsiders her refusal to pave the way for Ukraine’s accession to NATO, in 2008, during the Bucharest summit. After Russia attacked kyiv in February, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called Germany’s refusal a “historical error”. For meme Merkel, Ukraine’s entry into the Atlantic Alliance would have been a dangerous provocation for Russia. And the decision would have been difficult to make the Germans accept.
To those who reproach her for having, by this refusal, given free rein to the warmongering tendencies of Vladimir Putin, the former Chancellor replies that they are wrong. After the annexation of Crimea and then the start of the war in Donbass in 2014, “We have done everything to prevent further Russian aggression against Ukraine, in particular through the sanctions we have imposed”, she assures. In retrospect, she believes that these sanctions, combined with the Minsk agreements, negotiated in 2014 and 2015, “allowed Ukraine to give itself time to prepare to face Russian aggression in better conditions”.
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