Kremlin incapable of winning the war, German president says
Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Photo:REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain)
Russia must realize that there can be no victory in the criminal war it has unleashed upon Ukraine, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in his speech on the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Deutsche Welle reported on Feb. 24.
Steinmeier believes that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin "must withdraw his troops from Ukraine if he is serious about ending the war" and that "Russia must realize that there can be no victory in their criminal war."
The president added that those who "give orders to kill, bomb Ukraine, destroy cities and kidnap children; whose soldiers bleed senselessly day after day, they will never be a winner, they have already lost." He also believes that the Kremlin has dealt a blow to "all the lessons the world has learned from the two world wars."
At the same time, Steinmeier stressed, Germany is one of Ukraine's largest partners in terms of the scale of military and humanitarian assistance, and "despite all the controversial and sometimes unpleasant discussions" intends to keep this leadership.
Before becoming Germany’s president – a largely ceremonial position – Steinmeier served as Foreign Minister in Angela Merkel’s government. In that capacity, he pushed for using the Minsk Accords to resolve the post-2014 Ukraine-Russia conflict, even if that would have meant sacrificing parts of Kyiv’s sovereignty. This has earned him unkind reputation in Ukraine, where Steinmeier used to be regarded as “being on Moscow’s side.” The full-scale invasion, however, has drastically realigned Berlin’s foreign policy, with even those previously sympathetic to Russia now trying to make it understand it has lost.
On Feb. 24, the Ukrainian flag was raised in front of the Bellevue Palace (the residence of the President of Germany), where Steinmeier spoke.
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