Ukraine conflict: Scholz and Baerbock in the pillory


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From: Astrid Theil

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) received a lot of international criticism for the cautious policy in the Ukraine crisis. © Michael Kappeler/dpa

The behavior of the federal government in the Ukraine conflict is causing incomprehension, ridicule and horror in the USA. Germany’s role as a reliable ally is being questioned.

Washington DC/Berlin – The German government’s foreign policy action in connection with the Ukraine crisis has caused many reactions internationally: The range of international responses ranges from incomprehension to ridicule and horror. Germany seems to have made itself unpopular with its actions, especially in the USA.

Numerous NATO member states such as the USA, Great Britain and France support Ukraine militarily and are united against Russia. In addition to sending numerous soldiers to Eastern Europe or supplying weapons, the USA are now also planning unprecedented sanctions. According to information from New York Times Sanctions are being planned that will hit Russian banks harder than ever. Some of Russia’s largest financial institutions could face sanctions, far exceeding previous Western sanctions and severely damaging the Russian economy.

The German federal government, on the other hand, has expressly rejected arms deliveries to Kiev and is exercising restraint. Germany is thus deviating from the otherwise closed approach of Western countries. As a result, even the reliability of Germany as an ally is now being questioned in the USA. Both right- and left-leaning US media have made devastating judgments about Germany’s foreign policy.

Sharp criticism of Germany: “weakest link in the Ukraine crisis”

The conservative Wall Street Journal answered the question of Germany’s reliability with a devastating “no”. Also the New York Times denounces the government’s inaction. The daily newspaper listed all the support actions by states – including Denmark, France, Spain, Great Britain and the USA itself. “And then there would be Germany,” the article continues. This only makes itself known through passivity. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s stance on the Ukraine crisis has also been described as “a shambles”.

Bloomberg News also classifies Chancellor Scholz as the “weakest link in the Ukraine crisis”. The news agency explains this behavior by a traditional pro-Russia stance of the SPD. comes to a similar conclusion Fox News. Reference is also made to ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schöner, who recently caused a stir with attacks on the Ukrainians. Scholz’ rhetoric and body language are currently “hesitant”. On the other hand, Annalena Baebrock’s behavior as Foreign Minister was positively highlighted. This is at least “in line with the zeitgeist”.

5000 helmets for Ukraine “absolute joke”: mockery for Germany

Germany received a lot of ridicule and malice for the delivery of 5,000 protective helmets to the Ukraine. In this context, American tabloids even quoted what Vitali Klitschko told the Bild newspaper said: “What is Germany sending next? Pillows?” This delivery is seen as an “absolute joke”.

However, Germany’s actions are not only causing laughter, but also serious concern in the United States. in the Wall Street Journal states that Berlin would put Russia’s interests ahead of those of the West. The verdict is harsh: Germany is cheap natural gas and the appeasement of Putin is more important than solidarity with allied democracies. It is hardly understandable that US President Biden continues to regard Germany as the most important ally. Because Germany has lost its credibility as a partner.

Germany’s reliability doubted: Pentagon backs Scholz

There were dissenting voices directly from the Pentagon: spokesman John Kirby has opposite Fox News Olaf Scholz as a “good friend and strong partner”. He referred to the stationing of thousands of US troops in Germany. This is proof of “Germany’s solid solidarity”. the New York Times saw the debate about Germany’s reliability as an indicator of its unreliability. Because until recently it was actually a matter of course. No other country was given as much importance for European unity as Germany. The fact that Germany is now deviating from the actions of many states is driving a wedge through Europe and thus serving Putin’s interests.

Also the left news channel NBC comes to a similar conclusion. Scholz’s appearance undermines efforts to appear united in front of Russia. Although Germany’s history is cited as the reason for the pacifist attitude, it goes beyond that: after all, Germany has economic interests. The Nord Stream 2, known as “Putin’s pipeline”, and the German arms industry were listed.

Accusation of double standards: Germany would otherwise send weapons to “disgusting regimes”

In an interview with the public broadcaster NPR A representative of the Washington think tank “Brookings Institution” accused Germany of having double standards: “Otherwise the Germans have no problem supplying disgusting regimes with weapons”. Germany’s history is seen by many Americans as a convenient excuse for the federal government’s stance.

The image of Germany as a reliable partner is crumbling in many countries and especially in the USA, which shows the disappointment of the US media across all political camps. These voices from the USA have not gone unnoticed by German politicians and are causing unrest. After all, the current situation calls future international relations into question to some extent.

Concern in Germany: loss of reputation as a partner

The security expert Wolfgang Ischinger criticizes the actions of the federal government in the crisis and laments a loss of international reputation for Germany. “Awkwardness” in dealing with the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the issue of arms deliveries to Ukraine have meant that Germany is now “in a lousy, bad light” in the United States and other allies, says the head of the Munich Security Conference in an interview of German press agency.

The attitude of the federal government is playing into the hands of Russia*, and in doing so, Germany is losing the trust of a whole range of partners or is currently at the risk of losing it. Poor communication policy of the federal government favored this. Former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) also calls for a “discussion without taboos” on the issue of arms deliveries to Ukraine. However, the former foreign minister criticized in an interview with the picture on sunday the overall EU behavior in the Ukraine conflict sharply. “Right now we are leaving the price tags of war in Europe to the Americans. I find that shameful,” said the chairman of the Atlantic Bridge. (at/dpa) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.


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