Scholz’s three nos to Zelensky in his appearance on the new era in Germany

A week ago, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the German Bundestag, where he evoked the Wall and World War II and embarrassed MPs by recalling the economic ties with Russia forged over the years. Zelensky spoke of the consequences of the war in his country to warn the Bundestag that German money was partly financing the Putin regime and request that the country definitively cut ties with the Kremlin.

After the speech there was a standing ovation but the response has not officially arrived until today, with the appearance of the Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz to detail what the change of course in German policy announced a month ago consists of and which has included several messages about what the German government is willing to do for Ukraine, and what it is not.

  • They will not stop buying oil and gas from Russia: Scholz has confirmed that Germany will ignore Zelenski’s request because doing so would mean plunging the country “into a recession”. He has spoken of tightening the measures but making it clear that vetoing Russian oil and gas is not a decision that can be made overnight without serious consequences for the country. The intention of his government, he has indicated, is to gradually reduce dependence on Russian resources, promoting renewables and betting on Liquefied Natural Gas using facilities in Western Europe and accelerating the construction of own facilities in German ports. The recent trip of the Economy Minister to the Middle East and the first agreements for future purchases would respond to this strategy. Germany has to be “independent of Russian oil and gas”, the chancellor has said, insisting that a veto now, with no alternatives in sight, is not contemplated: “Sanctions should not hit European states more than Russia” .
  • No to the NATO peacekeeping mission: Scholz has categorically ruled out a NATO intervention beyond sending military aid. The chancellor has expressly rejected the possibility of sending a peace mission to Ukraine as Poland has suggested because “a direct confrontation should not take place” between the alliance and Russia. His words came on the same day that Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov warned that sending a peace mission would be a “reckless and extremely dangerous” decision that could bring “consequences that are difficult to repair.”
  • No to closing the airspace: Along the same lines of avoiding a “direct confrontation” with Putin, Scholz has rejected a closure of the air space, Zelenski’s most insistent request in the Bundestag and the rest of the parliaments where he is taking the floor. The chancellor has assured that “NATO will not be part of the war” and, addressing the Germans, has referred to the “hundreds of letters and emails” that he claims to receive daily from citizens wondering if “there will be war in our country “. Scholz has denied it.

Support for Ukraine will continue to consist of sanctions that it has promised will be tightened, in support of the refugees who are arriving in increasing numbers on German soil and the promised arms shipments.

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