- BBC News World
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her Moscow policy before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, saying she does not have enough power to influence President Vladimir Putin.
The former president explained that he was trying to hold European talks between the Russian president and French president Emmanuel Macron in the summer of 2021.
“But I don’t have the energy to achieve my goal,” he told the German press Spiegel.
Merkel added that “everyone knows” she was leaving.
After four terms as chancellor, Merkel will step down in December 2021. He made his final visit to Moscow in August of that year. “The feeling was very clear: ‘You are finished in terms of political power,'” he told a German news magazine. .
He added that “Power is all that matters to Putin”.
According to the former president, it is noteworthy that for their final meeting, Putin brought Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with him. Before that, they had only met face-to-face, he noted.
Many argued that Merkel and other EU leaders should have accepted the increased military presence on the border with Ukraine several weeks ago in the face of the Putin-led invasion. A strong stance toward the Kremlin.
German lawmaker Roderich Giessenwetter, a foreign policy expert for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU), was among those who said he knew Putin was trying to divide and weaken Europe, but believed in “soft power” — not direct confrontation with Moscow. Best strategy.
Before the invasion, Giesenwetter also advocated it Germany was heavily dependent on Russian gas.
In an interview with SpiegelMerkel said her stance on Ukraine at peace talks in Minsk in 2015 bought Kyiv time to defend itself against the Russian military.
A ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and during a third-party war in the Donbass region. But the main points Not activated, such as disarmament and international supervision.
Merkel said she did not regret leaving power in December because she felt her government had failed to make progress not just on the Ukraine crisis, but on conflicts in Moldova, Georgia, Syria and Libya, all involving Russia.
Putin is fluent in German and Merkel knows a little Russian.
She and Putin both had first-hand experience of life in communist East Germany — Merkel grew up in that country, and he served there as a Soviet KGB officer, doing intelligence work.
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