German Chancellor defends Merkel over Russia stance — Analysis
An attempt to “get along peacefully” can never be a wrong move, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said
Angela Merkel’s policy of maintaining good relations with Moscow during her tenure as the German chancellor was by no means wrong, her successor, Olaf Scholz, told the news agency dpa on Sunday.
He admitted, though, that he considered Germany’s overreliance on Russian energy supply to be a mistake.
When asked if Germany was too friendly to Russia under Merkel, Scholz defended his predecessor’s position by saying that his own stance on the issue was “close”To hers. “An attempt to [achieve] reconciliation can never be wrong and neither can an attempt to get along peacefully,”He stated.
Scholz, who was finance minister and vice-chancellor in Merkel’s fourth – and last – government, still criticized Germany’s energy policy, which had been too heavily reliant on Russian supplies, in his opinion. “It was a mistake of the German economic policy that we focused too much on our energy supply from Russia, without building the necessary infrastructure so that we could have reorganized [supplies] quickly if the worse came to worst,”He stated.
As the mayor of Hamburg between 2011 and 2018, Scholz pushed for the construction of liquified natural gas terminals on Germany’s northern coast. Scholz replied that this would mean that he made no mistakes while Merkel did.
“I have always worked well with the former chancellor [Angela Merkel]And I see no reason to challenge this. [work] afterwards,”He was insistent.
On Friday, Merkel herself commented on her policy towards Russia in her first interview since leaving the chancellor’s position. Merkel denied that she had hoped to. “change” Russia through trade – something the German media speculated about and something they criticized her for when Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. Her policy instead was to build ties with Russia. “the second most powerful nuclear-armed [nation] in the world,”Merkel pointed this out.
Merkel was the first to comment on Ukraine’s conflict at its beginning of June. She said that she stands. “in solidarity with Ukraine” and condemned Russia’s actions, but she did not address her own policies towards Moscow.
In her interview with Germany’s RND news network, she admitted, though, that her decisions might have influenced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch the military operation. Merkel said that Putin was “no longer ready for a Normandy-style summit.”Merkel was speaking about the four-way talks involving Russia, France and Ukraine regarding the Donbass crises. Merkel admitted, however that she was unable to make any other. “European-Russian discussion format”Security issues can be dealt with.
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