Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine did not come as a surprise to her. She stated this in an interview with Der Spiegel.
According to Merkel, shortly before her resignation from the position of chancellor, she tried to establish contact with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
The former chancellor claims that in the summer of 2021, after the meeting of US President Joe Biden with the Russian president, she was going to establish a European format for the discussion regarding Ukraine.
Merkel herself, Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron were supposed to participate in it. It was not possible to do this, because, as the former chancellor put it, “someone began to object”, and she no longer had the opportunity to insist on her point because everyone knew about her departure from politics in the fall. Merkel said that she was treated the same during her last visit to Moscow. “In the sense of power politics, you are finished. For Putin, only power matters,” she said.
According to Merkel, she tried to convey to other German politicians her initiative to prevent war, but they did not dare to take such responsibility on themselves.
Earlier, in her first major interview after resigning as chancellor, Merkel called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “a great tragedy.” “This is a brutal attack that disregards international law and has no justification,” she emphasized.
Merkel said that Putin’s hatred is directed against the Western democratic model. “He wants to destroy the European Union, because he sees it as the first step to NATO,” – believes the former chancellor of Germany.
Merkel’s critics accuse her of seeking compromises with Russia, particularly at the expense of Ukraine. Examples include commitment to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline (it was eventually built, but not put into operation) or willingness to make concessions regarding the Minsk agreements. The chancellor is also criticized for opposing the 2008 NATO admission of Ukraine and Georgia.