‘Nothing to apologise for’: Merkel defends Russia legacy | Angela Merkel News

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In first interview since stepping down in December, Merkel stresses Russia commerce ties, and significance of diplomacy.

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her file on Russia, saying she had “nothing to apologise for” at the same time as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine casts a shadow over her legacy.

Merkel insisted she had not been naive in her dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin who she met repeatedly throughout her 16 years in workplace.

“Diplomacy isn’t mistaken simply because it hasn’t labored,” the 67-year-old stated in her first main interview since stepping down six months in the past.

She recalled her help for financial sanctions in opposition to Russia over its 2014 annexation of Crimea, and German-French efforts to maintain the Minsk peace course of for Ukraine alive.

“I don’t should blame myself for not making an attempt onerous sufficient,” the conservative ex-chancellor stated.

“I don’t see that I’ve to say ‘that was mistaken’ and that’s why I’ve nothing to apologise for.”

Talking to Der Spiegel journalist Alexander Osang, she rejected criticism that she had been mistaken to dam Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO in 2008, arguing that Ukraine was too divided at that time and Putin would have seen membership as a “declaration of battle”.

“That wasn’t the Ukraine we all know at present … The nation was not steady, it was riddled with corruption,” she stated, praising President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his wartime management.

Merkel argued that the 2014-2015 Minsk peace agreements, seen on the time as one of the simplest ways to finish the combating in japanese Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troopers, had “introduced some calm” and given Ukraine time to develop as a democracy and strengthen its army, she stated.

“The braveness and fervour with which they’re combating for his or her nation could be very spectacular,” Merkel added.

Merkel, a fluent Russian speaker, additionally defended her coverage of supporting commerce with Russia, saying Europe and Russia have been neighbours and couldn’t ignore one another.

She stated she had grappled with questions in regards to the former Soviet Union all through her time in workplace but it surely was by no means attainable to finish the Chilly Battle.

“We merely didn’t achieve making a safety structure to stop that,” she added.

There was “no justification in any respect” for the “brutal” and Putin’s unlawful battle of aggression, she stated, including that the Russian president had made “an enormous mistake”.

“He desires to destroy Europe,” she warned. “It’s crucial for the European Union to stay collectively now.”



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