Russia demands explanation
Baerbock flies war statement around the ears
01/27/2023 10:13 am
A seemingly thoughtless statement by Foreign Minister Baerbock is making waves. In the Council of Europe, the Green politician said: “We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.” For Kremlin propaganda, the sentence is a godsend.
In Russia there is increasing excitement over a statement by Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock about a “war against Russia”. The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, demanded an explanation from the German ambassador in Moscow about “contradictory” statements. On the one hand, Germany declares that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine. On the other hand, Baerbock says that the countries of Europe are at war with Russia. “Do you understand what you’re talking about?” Zakharova wrote on the Telegram news channel.
On Tuesday at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Baerbock called for the cohesion of the western allies with the following words: “We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.” The Russian state media gratefully took up this statement as a central key phrase for war propaganda – as proof that Germany and the other EU countries are direct conflict parties in Ukraine and are fighting against Russia.
The security expert Claudia Major from the Science and Politics Foundation spoke in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” of an “extremely unfortunate slip of the tongue” by Baerbock, who is now being exploited by Russian state propaganda.
The federal government, on the other hand, usually emphasizes that it is not a party to the war in Ukraine. On Wednesday evening on ZDF, Chancellor Olaf Scholz answered the question of whether Germany and its allies were not taking part in the war with the tank deliveries that had now been decided: “No, absolutely not. He added: “There must be no war between Russia and NATO .” After Baerbock’s statements, the Foreign Office also made it clear that Germany was “not a party to the conflict”.
“We are not at war with Russia”
After the promise to deliver Leopard 2 to Ukraine, Germany is increasingly criticized in Russia for using heavy weapons against Russian soldiers for the first time since World War II. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday after the decision on the delivery of main battle tanks by other countries such as France, Great Britain and the USA: “Everything that the alliance and the capitals I mentioned (Europe and the USA) do is done in Moscow as a direct involvement in the conflict.” This effort is constantly growing.
Moscow has repeatedly accused the US and EU of waging a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Nevertheless, Russia will not declare war, said Peskov. On Thursday, France rejected Russian accusations that Western countries were “directly involved” in the Ukraine war. “The delivery of armaments as part of legitimate self-defense (…) does not mean becoming a party to the war,” said a spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry in Paris. “We are not at war with Russia, and neither are our partners,” she added.