Baerbock warns of split in negotiations with Russia
Annalena Baerbock Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs © gruene.de
BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Against the background of the dispute over arms deliveries to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has warned of a split in the West. “Our strongest weapon is and remains our unity. We have to let the pressure that we have built up together take effect,” said the Green politician on Wednesday before a meeting with her Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra in Berlin. At the same time, one must defend oneself against “all attempts from outside that aim to divide us,” she added.
“Ukraine knows what we are doing and where we are,” said Baerbock. Germany is the largest bilateral donor, ahead of the USA. “We support the negotiations on gas transit. We take care of investments in the field of renewable energies and we support Ukraine in the corona pandemic, for example by delivering vaccines.”
Ukraine has repeatedly criticized the federal government’s refusal to deliver arms and has demanded an end to the controversial Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. Most recently, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek expressed doubts about Germany’s reliability in the Ukraine crisis. In Poland and other Eastern European countries, many would ask “what game Germany is actually playing in the Ukraine conflict,” he told the German Press Agency in Berlin. There are doubts as to whether one can count on Germany.
Hoekstra said Germany and the Netherlands stand side by side in supporting Ukraine and working towards de-escalation. “It is very important that we make it clear to Russia that the actors must continue the dialogue, but that we will never accept a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.”
Baerbock emphasized that the common goal remains the defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Any further aggression by Russia against Ukraine would have serious consequences – politically, strategically, as well as economically and financially.” At the same time, “there was never any doubt that we need and want a serious dialogue with Russia on the basis of international legal obligations,” stressed the minister against the background of the meeting of foreign policy advisers to the heads of state and government of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine in the so-called Normandy format on Wednesday in Paris./bk/DP/eas
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