“No People’s War”
Baerbock: Putin is risking his country’s future
02/24/2023, 8:57 p.m
A year after the start of the Ukraine war, the UN Security Council is showing how far away peace is. Foreign Minister Baerbock calls for opposing Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has accused Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin of jeopardizing Russia’s future with the war against Ukraine. “The Russian president is risking the future of his own country,” said the Green politician at a special session of the UN Security Council in New York on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.
“This war is not the war of the Russian people. This war is Putin’s war.” A just peace is also in the interests of the people of Russia. The war brought death and destruction all over the world beyond Ukraine, said the minister – “not directly through tanks and bombs, but through the food crisis.”
Referring to Russia’s UN Ambassador Wassili Nebensya, who stayed away from her speech, Baerbock said: “I’m under no illusions: we won’t convince the Russian representative today. He’s not even listening.” She added: “What we can do is stand up for a world where peace means peace.”
Peace “must not mean that we ignore who is the attacker and who is the victim,” said Baerbock. “Because submission is not peace.” Not naming the aggressor means accepting a world where the strongest rule. Not standing by the victim’s side would also mean “a world in which none of us could sleep peacefully because we would all have to fear an attack from our stronger neighbor”.
Baerbock rejected criticism of Western aid for Kiev. “We cannot stand idly by. Where would Ukraine, which voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons because it believed in peace, be today if we hadn’t defended its right to self-defense?” asked the minister. “Can we imagine what it would mean, more Buchaz, Kharkiv, Mariupol, more Bakhmut, more atrocities against civilians?” Bucha, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Bakhmut in Ukraine have become the target of massive Russian attacks.
She does not want to imagine a world in which the international community does not intervene in such circumstances, said Baerbock. “I don’t want to be in charge of such a world. I think most of us don’t want to be in charge of such a world.”