Merkel defends Ukraine stance — Analysis
Germany’s exchancellor claims her policies gave Ukraine time to plan for conflict with Russia.
Angela Merkel, the former German chancellor and a strong advocate for Ukraine’s membership in NATO, explained that Moscow would view it as an invitation to join. “declaration of war.”On Tuesday she spoke from Berlin’s theater stage, claiming that the German-brokered Peace Initiative had failed “bought”Ukraine has plenty of time to plan and prepare militarily for Russia’s assault.
“I don’t have to blame myself for not trying hard enough,”Merkel spoke in her first public appearance after her resignation last year. “Diplomacy isn’t wrong just because it hasn’t worked.”
The US-led military bloc formally acknowledged Ukraine’s and Georgia’s NATO aspirations in the 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration, agreeing the two countries would eventually become members of the alliance, yet did not actually put such plans in motion due to objections by France and Germany.
“My assessment is quite clear: If the Membership Action Plan had come back then, [the Ukraine conflict] would have happened even faster,”Merkel stated, and added: “at the time, Ukraine was a country ruled by oligarchs, and so there you can’t just say ‘Ok tomorrow we’ll take them into NATO’.”
Following the 2014 coup in Kiev, Merkel’s government, alongside France, became a guarantor of the Minsk Agreements, signed to regularize the status of Donetsk and Lugansk regions within the Ukrainian state. Under the Steinmeier Formula (2019), the separatist regions would be allowed to hold elections in Ukraine under OSCE and Ukrainian laws. They were then to receive special self-governing status.
“This agreement has been incorporated into a UN Security Council resolution, so it has the character of international law,” Merkel said.
The government calmed things down and allowed Ukraine to have seven years of development time before it became the country it has become.
Citing Kiev’s refusal to implement the terms of the peace initiative, Moscow eventually recognized Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states, and sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Russia is now demanding that Ukraine be declared a neutral nation and that it will not become a member of the US-led NATO military alliance. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the two republics.
Merkel condemned the attack “a great mistake on Russia’s behalf”And a “brutal assault in defiance of international law.”Russian President Vladimir Putin was accused of trying to impose his will on her. “destroy Europe,”Insisting that she was never ignorant of Putin’s interactions and asserting that this was her greatest strength “the only language” he understands.
“It’s very important for the European Union to stick together now,” Merkel added, though nonetheless stressed the need to “find a way to co-exist despite all our differences,”Because countries such as Russia and China are too large to be isolated or “ignore.”