German MP says Merkel shares responsibility for war in Ukraine as ex-chancellor blocked Ukraine from NATO

3 March, 04:25 PM
Angela Merkel is criticized for blocking Ukraine's entry into NATO (Photo:REUTERS / Annegret Hilse)

Angela Merkel is criticized for blocking Ukraine's entry into NATO (Photo:REUTERS / Annegret Hilse)

Strack-Zimmermann recalled that back in 2008, when many NATO member states were advocating for Ukraine's early membership, Germany and France remained opposed out of respect for Russia's position.

She said the fact that Ukrainians did not join NATO "was a big mistake made by the French and Angela Merkel at that time."

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The German official also said that following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Berlin should have sided with Kyiv and supported it with weapons, but "the history of Angela Merkel has to be rewritten, especially the history of the last few years and the complete miscalculations.”

She said she does not believe Russia’s war on Ukraine will last as long as the 20th Century’s World Wars.

“This war will definitely not last four or five years”, she said.

Russia’s war against Ukraine started in February 2014, with its initial invasions of first Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, and then parts of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts. The war has already lasted over nine years.

Strack-Zimmermann said that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had not counted on their being broad and sustained support for Ukraine.

At the Bucharest NATO summit in 2008, Germany and France blocked a NATO membership action plan for Ukraine and Georgia. Merkel and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy opposed it out of respect for Russia and fear of escalation by Moscow.

Six months later, in August 2008, Russia invaded Georgia.

Merkel doubled-down on her decision to block Ukraine from NATO — even after Russia began its full-scale invasion in February 2022 — when responding to accusations made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after the massacre of civilians by Russian soldiers in Kyiv Oblast.

Merkel also stated that she does not blame herself for not trying hard enough to prevent Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The former German chancellor has also stated that she does not regret her government's decision to buy large quantities of natural gas from Russia, which effectively made Germany energy dependent on Moscow.

When asked about the Minsk agreements, Merkel said that it allowed Ukraine to buy time, but admitted that she could no longer influence Putin by the end of her term.

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