Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, declared that despite the soaring energy costs and skyrocketing inflation as a result of the sanction the U.S. and NATO has imposed on Moscow, Berlin will stand with Ukraine as long as Kyiv needs the support during its war with Russia “no matter what my German voters think.”
She mentioned the EU embargo against Russia and said, “I have to be clear that this holds on as long as Ukraine needs me.”
When questions began to be raised about the looming energy crisis before the winter, Baerbock admitted that German politicians will be challenged, especially if people cannot pay their energy bills. But she said Berlin will instate social programs and help citizens who may be struggling.
Gazprom, Russia’s energy giant, announced last week that its Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Europe will remain closed due to an “oil leak.” Moscow said it is unable to fix the problem because the sanctions imposed by Europe have held up equipment repairs.
Russia claimed that the pipeline required 10 days of maintenance work, and, as many countries predicted, announced that the gas flow would not restart. An unofficial source in Gazprom told GIS Reports that there was never any issue with the pipeline.
Russia has said it does not believe that the EU will be capable of replacing its gas supply for up to the next 10 years.
As we have noted, Russia normally provides Europe with about 40 percent of its natural gas. Germany’s economy—the largest in Europe—relied on cheap Russian gas.
Christian Sewing, the CEO of Deutsche Bank, told an audience in Frankfurt last week that Germany will be unable to avoid a recession.
“We believe that our economy is resilient enough to cope well with this recession—provided the central banks act quickly and decisively now,” he said.
Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, has indicated that Berlin is prepared for life without Russian gas.
“Something that held true throughout the Cold War no longer applies,” Scholz said, according to The New York Times. “Russia is no longer a reliable energy supplier. That is part of the new reality.”
Baerbock made a surprise visit to Kyiv to say Berlin will “continue to stand by Ukraine as long as it takes—with the delivery of weapons, as well as humanitarian and financial support,” DW.com reported.
She said it is abundantly clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “banking” on Germany growing tired.
“He believes he can divide our societies with lies and blackmail them with energy supplies. And, that he can drain us of the energy to defend ourselves against this brutal attack on all of our values,” she said.
She called his assumptions misguided and said “all Europe” knows Ukraine is “defending our peaceful order.”
Germans Want Peaceful Resolution
A recent poll conducted by RTL/ntv-Trendbarometer found that 77 percent of Germans believe the West should make concrete efforts to try and launch negotiations with Russia. The survey found just 17 percent of Germans would be opposed to such talks.
Of the approximately 1,000 Germans that were polled, about 43 percent said they are content with the amount of support Berlin has been offering Ukraine, while about 25 percent say Scholz is doing too much.
Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, told reporters last week that a “total war” has been declared against Moscow and the “current period shouldn’t be underestimated.”
“It’s being waged in hybrid forms, in all areas,” he said. “The degree of animosity of our opponents—our enemies—is enormous, extraordinary.”
But German politicians don’t care what the public thinks.
Michael Roth, a German politician from Scholz’s Social Democrats party, said the West should help Ukraine stage its counteroffensive against Russia.
“In this new phase of the war, Ukraine needs weapons that will enable it to liberate territories occupied by Russia and keep them permanently under its control,” Roth told local media, according to DW.com. “The West, in particular, the US, Germany, France and Poland, should quickly coordinate closely here and adapt its deliveries to the new situation.”
TRENDPOST: Baerbock has warned that the war in Ukraine could carry on for years and Germans need to be prepared for a long fight and energy disruption. She has said the Ukrainians are fighting to defend democracy and freedoms, so it is particularly jarring when she mentioned that the opinions of German voters don’t matter when it comes to Ukraine.
This war has never been about democracy. Western countries see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to weaken Russia off the world’s stage or watch Russian President Vladimir Putin be removed from office, which would be the coup de grace.
Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, said last week that Putin is trying to “bully” European countries and has “weaponized” natural gas.
“He’s betting that the Kremlin can bully other countries into submission,” Blinken said while visiting Kyiv, according to The New York Times.
We’ve noted that Germany took a pragmatic approach to the Ukraine War at its onset, and worked to take an almost neutral approach to the matter. But Scholz has become more anti-Russian and militaristic. Germany announced a 100 billion euro military revamp, which would include about $8 billion in F-35 aircraft.
Scholz blamed Putin for starting the war for “completely absurd” reasons, DW.com reported.
“NATO was never a threat to Russia,” he said.