WW3 Watch: German Foreign Minister Declares ‘We Are Fighting a War Against Russia’
In a stunning statement contradicting her own government and the official line from NATO, Germany’s Foreign Minister declared that her country and Europe as a whole is in a “war against Russia” in Ukraine.
Speaking before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Annalena Baerbock of the German Green Party and a top member of the traffic light coalition government of Olaf Scholz, publicly contradicted the head of her government by saying that they are at war with Russia.
“I’ve said already in the last days – yes, we have to do more to defend Ukraine. Yes, we have to do more also on tanks,” Baerbock said. “But the most important and the crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe, because we are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.”
The comments from the foreign minister came just hours before Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would indeed be sending military tanks to Ukraine. However, the German leader expressly said that this did not represent an act of war against Russia, maintaining the Western line that the tanks are allegedly only intended for defensive purposes.
“We must always make it very clear that we are doing what is necessary and possible to support Ukraine, but at the same time preventing an escalation of the war to a war between NATO and Russia, and we will continue to observe this principle,” he said.
Aside from being contradicted by the chancellor, Germany’s chief military ally in the European Union, France also rejected Baerbock’s declaration, with a spokeswoman for the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs at the Quai d’Orsay, Anne-Claire Legendre saying: “We are not at war with Russia and none of our partners are.”
“The delivery of military equipment as part of the exercise of its self-defence… does not constitute a co-belligerence,” she said. “We deny these statements made by the Kremlin.”
On Thursday, Germany’s Federal Foreign Office also attempted to walk back the comments from Baerbock, telling the Bild newspaper that supporting Ukraine’s defensive effort against Russia “does not make Germany a party to the conflict.”
Yet, the comments were not missed by the Kremlin, with Moscow likening the statement to a recent interview from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who suggested last year that the 2014 Minsk peace agreement was intended to buy Ukraine time in order to build up armaments to fight Russia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “If we add this to Merkel’s revelations that they were strengthening Ukraine and did not count on the Minsk agreements, then we are talking about a war against Russia that was planned in advance. Don’t say later that we didn’t warn you.”
Despite the Green Party’s traditionally anti-war stance, Baerbock has been one of the most vociferous voices in Germany on behalf of the Ukrainian war effort against Russia. Indeed, speaking from Prague in September, the foreign minister said that her government would be willing to support Ukraine for years “no matter what my German voter thinks.”