Germany and the USA are starting the UN General Assembly in New York, which begins on Monday, with a demonstrative transatlantic solidarity against Russia.
Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin would be "going nowhere" if he thought the world would get used to Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) after a meeting with her US colleague Antony Blinken in Washington. Blinken praised that Germany was second only to the United States in terms of the amount of aid provided to Kiev.
Over the past year and a half, Baerbock has been one of his closest colleagues when it comes to Ukraine and many other issues, praised Blinken. Germany plays a crucial role for NATO and in the effort for security and peace. Blinken and Baerbock had already exchanged ideas over a two-hour dinner on Thursday evening. Blinken's wife Evan Ryan also attended the dinner.
Baerbock against “Putin’s crowbar”
Baerbock and Blinken promised Ukraine continued support against Russia. The Foreign Minister emphasized that she and her colleague had made it clear again and again that a war did not just mean abstract numbers and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, but that "behind every single number there is a victim, a person, a face." She added: "Putin's crowbar of hate does not bend the Ukrainian will to survive, but rather strengthens the fight for freedom."
"The whole world longs for peace"
Putin's brutality also strengthens the determination of the international community "that we in the world stand up for everyone in Ukraine to be able to live in freedom again at some point," said Baerbock. This is not just about arms deliveries, but above all about humanitarian aid, the protection of infrastructure and the retrieval of abducted children. She also spoke with Blinken about closer integration of winter aid for Ukraine. "The whole world longs for peace" - this is the common message for the UN General Assembly in New York. Both Baerbock and Blinken recently made separate visits to Kiev.
Baerbock remains cautious about Taurus delivery
Baerbock remained cautious about Ukraine's demand for long-range, modern German Taurus cruise missiles. Sensitive questions need to be answered here, "which is not as easy as it might sound at first glance." The exam is intense.
On the much-discussed question of the range of the Taurus weapons and possible Ukrainian attacks on targets in Russia, the Foreign Minister said: "The right to self-defense means that you can defend yourself." However, it's not just about what is legally permitted or not permitted. Germany has repeatedly made it clear: "For us, the basis of all arms deliveries is international law, international humanitarian law."
Baerbock: Weapons for the defense of national territory
It's also about the world's broad support for Ukraine, said Baerbock. Because it is also about trust, it has always been important "that we have to strengthen trust around the world in our own actions" and that "we are concerned with strengthening Ukraine's self-defense." For this reason, the federal government told the Ukrainian armed forces from the outset that German arms deliveries were limited to the defense of national territory within Ukraine.
Baerbock also emphasized that in her discussions with Republican members of the US Congress, she had perceived “a lot of good will” for continued support for Ukraine. There are fears that US support for Ukraine could decline if former Republican US President Donald Trump returns to power in the November 2024 election.
Blinken emphasizes unity in strategy towards Beijing
Blinken said they also discussed a common approach to China. The German China strategy corresponds very well with that of the US government. The aim of economic relations with China is to reduce risk and not to decouple.
By train from Washington to the UN General Assembly
Since Tuesday, Baerbock has been getting an idea of the political and social situation in the USA. Before her visit to the capital, she spent two days in Texas. Like Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), she will take part in the United Nations General Assembly next week. On Friday, after completing her official appointments in the capital Washington, she wanted to take the train to New York. No official appointments were planned there on Saturday.