Berlin’s Russia policy in wake of annexation of Crimea was wrong, Scholz admits

17 September, 03:56 PM
Olaf Scholz (Photo:REUTERS/Christian Mang)

Olaf Scholz (Photo:REUTERS/Christian Mang)

Germany made mistakes in shaping its relation with Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with German radio station Deutschlandfunk on Sept. 17.

“I can unequivocally say that, in hindsight, it would’ve been prudent to have a more robust response to the annexation of Crimea,” said Scholz.

According to the chancellor, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin would not have become as obsessed with Ukraine if the international community mounted a more coherent and powerful response to him seizing the Ukrainian peninsula.

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After fugitive Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country to Russia, Moscow used its Black Sea Fleet naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea, to launch the invasion and subsequent annexation of the peninsula in 2014. Despite this, Germany and Russia signed a deal to build the Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline in 2015, deepening the country’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

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