Ukraine conflict


Post photo: Ukrainian flag | © Pixabay

An interview with me was published yesterday in the Heilbronner Voice (12.02.2022/28/XNUMX: XNUMX) that Annika Heffter previously led with me. I summarize my statements there in this blog post for all weblog readers.

Vladimir Putins goals are clear: to weaken Ukraine and restore Russian supremacy in Eastern Europe. It is less clear whether he is prepared to start a momentous war to achieve this. That is why, from a Western perspective, a mixture of diplomacy and harsh consequences is now so important, an approach that does not preclude any deterrent. With an unparalleled deployment, Putin is playing extremely high gambles. Betting on him bluffing would be wishful thinking. He has often proven that he acts brutally and coldly when the costs are manageable, for example in Syria, Georgia and Crimea. He is very serious about stopping Ukraine's course towards the EU and preventing a democratically prosperous Ukraine. Doubts would be well advised to overcome any naivety about Putin's motives.

Russia is the aggressor because Ukrainian soldiers are not in Russia, but Russian ones in Ukraine, Crimea and Donbass. Of course, Ukraine also makes mistakes, they are under unprecedented pressure. But one must not confuse cause and effect. The cause is Putin's refusal to accept the end of the Soviet Union and the independence of its successors.

Cooperation among neighbors could have turned the post-Soviet space into a growth model. The EU made attractive offers of cooperation to Russia in the 1990s and XNUMXs. Instead, the Russian leadership continues to rely on domination and intimidation. No wonder Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova are aspiring to join the EU.

By no means is NATO obsolete! Politically and militarily, NATO is the decisive link between Europe and North America. Emmanuel Macron does not promote decoupling from it, but rather more self-confidence in the EU. He is right. Because since Trump, we have known how quickly the most important ally can become unpredictable.

Of course, the US has no right to rule over Nord Stream 2. Just as little as Germany alone, because we are part of the EU. This pipeline has to be decided according to European law. Schröder, Merkel and the grand coalition made a major mistake when they tried to push through Putin's prestige project, which is important for the Russian state budget, against the will of the Baltic, Central Eastern and Northern Europeans. This pipeline can never supply Germany with as much energy as it has already cost us in terms of political capital from our EU partners. Because our neighbors are rightly alarmed when Berlin wants to go their separate ways with Moscow.

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