Scholz before the summit: a sweeping blow from the chancellor

As of: 06/22/2022 4:52 p.m

Chancellor Scholz is facing three international summit meetings. Before that, however, he once again explained the main lines of his policy to the members of the Bundestag. In the center – of course – the war against Ukraine.

Shortly before the three major international summits of the EU Council, the G7 and NATO, Chancellor Olaf Scholz presented the guidelines for his policy to the Bundestag. He addressed the MEPs with a sweeping swipe from aid for Ukraine, to the possible accession of Ukraine and the Western Balkan states to the fight against the global hunger crisis.

NATO and Security Policy

the Realignment of German security and foreign policy was recognized and understood by Germany’s partner countries, said Scholz. Germany is not only taking responsibility for itself, but also for its allies. For example, the Bundeswehr should be permanently stationed in Lithuania, also as part of NATO’s protection of the eastern flank. Scholz reiterated that “every square meter of alliance territory will be defended”. Eastern NATO countries could count on that.

A partnership with Russia, as NATO was still considering in 2010, has become “inconceivable for the foreseeable future” with the aggression under Russian President Vladimir Putin, explained Scholz. However, he does not want to withdraw from the NATO-Russia Founding Act. “In any case, we will do more than ever to maintain an international order based on law instead of violence,” said Scholz.

Help for Ukraine

Scholz said he would take the impressions he gained during his recent visit to Ukraine – the destruction in Irpin – with him to the summit. Russia’s war in Ukraine is a “barbaric crime” – and supporting Ukraine is therefore a “duty”. As horrible as the devastated suburbs of Kyiv like Irpin and Bucha are, they are also places of hope that it will be possible to push back the Russian soldiers. This is “our goal,” explained Scholz.

There are currently no hopes for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. In any case, the principle applies: “Nothing about Ukraine, without Ukraine.” Kyiv itself decides on negotiations.

According to Scholz, training of Ukrainian soldiers on the German Mars II rocket launcher system will begin in the next few days. They are already running on the Gepard anti-aircraft tanks. The contract between Ukraine and the manufacturers for the IRIS-T air defense system was signed a few days ago, said Scholz. The German tank howitzers have meanwhile arrived in the Ukraine.

The reconstruction of the war-ravaged country is a generational task, which is why Ukraine needs a “Marshall Plan”. This will also be an issue at the G7 summit in Bavaria, to which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is also expected.

New EU accession negotiations and reforms

Germany also supports Kiev’s desire to become a member of the EU. Scholz stated that he would work to ensure that all 27 EU countries voted in favor of it: “27 times yes to candidate status,” he said – and this also applies to the Republic of Moldova.

However, he also pointed out that the Copenhagen criteria for accession to the EU must be observed. It regulates the criteria states must meet in order to become members of the EU. According to Scholz, particular attention must be paid to reforms relating to the rule of law, the judiciary and the protection of minorities.

At the same time, the EU itself needs reforms in order to become “receptive”. According to Scholz, a qualified majority of the EU states should be sufficient in future EU decisions on foreign policy and the unanimity principle should no longer apply.

The Chancellor also spoke out in favor of new efforts by the alliance of states in the countries of the western Balkans. It was almost 20 years ago that the EU gave these countries the prospect of accession – far too long, says Scholz, and showed understanding for the displeasure in those countries: “Now it’s time: We want and need the Western Balkans in the European Union.” Specifically, he spoke out in favor of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

G7: struggle for international influence

One of the most pressing international crises is the food shortage and high grain prices, which were largely caused by the war in Ukraine. Scholz again assured that solutions for Ukrainian grain exports were being worked on. Because many countries that were particularly hard hit by the lack of grain deliveries were also struggling with the consequences of the pandemic. It is therefore important to support them, also because otherwise Russia or China could advance into this gap and use it for themselves.

In order to strengthen international cooperation, he also invited Senegal, Argentina, India, Indonesia and South Africa to the G7 summit in Elmau. For better climate protection, it is important to create a fair global market in which climate protection is a competitive advantage.

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