Ukraine conflict: Schröder for understanding for Russia – politics

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has defended the German refusal to deliver arms to Ukraine and has clearly rejected Ukrainian criticism. “I very much hope that the saber-rattling in Ukraine will finally really stop,” said Schröder in the podcast “Die Agenda”” Because what I have to hear there, also Assigning blame to Germany because of the reasonable cancellation of arms deliveries, sometimes that knocks the bottom out of the barrel.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) have clearly rejected the delivery of lethal weapons to Ukraine. Kiev has sharply criticized this. The government there demands, among other things, warships and air defense systems from Germany.

Schröder also saw the Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine as a reaction to NATO maneuvers in the Baltic States and in Poland. “Of course, this has an impact on thinking and threat analysis in Russia itself,” he said. You have to take that into account if you are looking for a settlement with Russia. The former chancellor does not expect a Russian invasion of Ukraine. “I don’t believe that. And I also don’t believe that the Russian leadership can and does have an interest in intervening militarily in Ukraine.” Schröder has been friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin since he was Chancellor. (28.01.2022)

Baerbock leaves German embassy staff in Kiev

In contrast to the USA and Great Britain, Germany does not want to move its embassy staff to the Ukrainian capital Kiev for the time being. “If economic actors have the feeling that the situation in Ukraine as a whole is uncertain or unstable, the willingness to invest will decrease. That is exactly what Putin would play into the cards,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) told the newspapers of Funke- media group and the French daily newspaper West France according to a preliminary report. Right now it is important not to destabilize Ukraine. Her message to Kiev is that they want to expand economic cooperation. According to the minister, the security situation for embassy staff is being continuously reviewed. If family members of diplomats want to leave the country voluntarily, they could do so at the expense of the Federal Foreign Office. (27.01.2022)

US government requests special session of UN Security Council on Ukraine crisis

The UN Security Council is to deal with the current Ukraine crisis for the first time. The United States requested a meeting of the most powerful UN body for Monday, as the German Press Agency learned from diplomatic circles. The consultations in New York are to be held in public, probably at 4 p.m. German time.

The US and its western allies fear a Russian invasion of Ukraine. They demand that the approximately 100,000 Russian soldiers who have gathered at the Ukrainian border withdraw to the rear. The Security Council is less likely to find solutions to the conflict. Rather, the US could use the international stage as a means of exerting pressure on Moscow. (27.01.2022)

Zelensky thanks Biden for US aid

US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky have discussed the tense situation between Ukraine and Russia. The phone call was about security issues and energy, Zelensky’s spokesman wrote on Facebook. Zelensky then thanked his US colleague for the US help. “Discussed recent diplomatic efforts to de-escalate and agreed on joint actions for the future,” the Ukrainian president tweeted. (27.01.2022)

Von der Leyen: The EU has strong leverage

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has emphasized that in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s exclusion from the Swift payment system and an end to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are possible. “Nothing is off the table,” she said in a CNN interview when asked about sanctions. She also stressed that they are trying to find a solution at the negotiating table, but are also preparing for the worst.

The EU is Russia’s largest trading partner, accounting for around 40 percent of trade in goods, and the largest foreign investor. “These figures show that we have a strong leverage and that it would be very painful for Russia if aggression against Ukraine escalated.” (27.01.2022)

Baerbock defends the course of the federal government

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has defended the German government’s refusal to supply arms to Ukraine. Turning the foreign policy course by 180 degrees on this issue “should be done with full awareness and, above all, not closing doors for de-escalation, which are opening so tentatively again at this very moment,” said the Greens politician Looking at the resumption of talks with Russia.

Germany also supports Ukraine militarily, she said. Baerbock mentioned the delivery of combat helmets, the construction of protective bunkers and the training of Ukrainian soldiers. But dialogue has absolute priority. “Whoever talks doesn’t shoot, so it’s fatal to simply dismiss the resumption of dialogue,” said Baerbock. The federal government continues to focus on strengthening Ukraine economically and financially. (27.01.2022)

Russia Reluctant to US Response to Security Guarantees

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the letters from NATO and the USA, which included security guarantees demanded by Russia. According to the Interfax news agency, Lavrov said that on the most important point there was no positive statement from the United States. Which point that is, however, remained open. In the case of secondary issues, however, there is hope for a serious dialogue.

The Kremlin also commented on the US response to the Russian demand for security guarantees. The assessment will take some time, explains the Office of the President in Moscow. However, it is already clear that Russia’s main demand has not been met. Nevertheless, it is possible to continue the dialogue. This is in the interests of Russia and the United States. Bilateral contacts would initially continue at working level, with Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden then deciding whether and when to meet in person. (27.01.2022)

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