Ukraine crisis: Union and SPD switch

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From: Georg Anastasiadis

The leaders of the SPD and CDU, Klingbeil and Merz, sharpened the tone towards Vladimir Putin; Commentary by Merkur Editor-in-Chief Georg Anastasiadis. © Mikhail Metzel/dpa

In the Bundestag, the heads of the two people’s parties have now for the first time made much sharper statements towards Moscow. The Kremlin must have listened carefully. A commentary by Georg Anastasiadis.

Munich – There has been a favorite phrase in German foreign policy, and not just since Trump. It reads: Germany must take on more responsibility. Not much followed from the fine words, but the Berlin oaths have never sounded as hollow as they do now in the Ukraine crisis, for which the new chancellor feels dangerously incompetent. A European partner country is threatened with war, but the head of the most important EU country couldn’t think of much more than the hint that the Baltic Sea pipeline is a private-sector project. The same world newspapers look on in amazement Economist to New York Times, which Germany has so far celebrated as the torchbearer of freedom and democracy, to the new federal government.

And yet, those who listened carefully heard a new tone in the Bundestag at the end of this week. For the SPD and the once again silent chancellor, it was not the Putin sympathizers, Mützenich, Kühnert or Stegner, who spoke, but party leader Klingbeil, who blamed the Kremlin for the escalation with unprecedented clarity. The Union, which has long wavered between appeasement and loyalty to the alliance, seems to have recognized the seriousness of the situation: CSU boss Söder, who is pushing for the release of the Baltic Sea pipeline, no longer speaks for them. Instead, the new opposition leader Merz, who is now threatening to exclude Russia from the international payment system, should give Moscow the order to invade.

Ukraine crisis: Growing domestic and foreign policy pressure on the traffic light is having an effect

The pipeline, the Swift international payment system – everything that could hurt Putin is now back on the table in Ukraine poker. The growing domestic and foreign political pressure on the traffic light is having an effect. Putin’s first plan of attack, aimed at uniting the West, initially seems to have been fended off. In the Kremlin, this will be carefully noted. After all, Moscow has been making enormous efforts for years to shape the German public in its interest, in order to free the country from its North Atlantic anchoring and drive the United States out of Europe. This is good news for Ukrainians and everyone hoping that a new destructive war will not break out in Europe.

A commentary by Georg Anastasiadis

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