In Russia there is increasing excitement about a statement by Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) about a "war against Russia". The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, demanded an explanation from the German ambassador in Moscow on "contradictory" statements from Berlin on Friday. On the one hand, Germany declares that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine. On the other hand, Baerbock says that the countries of Europe are at war with Russia. "Do you understand what you're talking about?" Zakharova wrote on the Telegram news channel.
On Tuesday at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Baerbock called for the cohesion of the western allies with the following words: "We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other." The Russian state media gratefully took up this statement as a central key phrase for war propaganda - as proof that Germany and the other EU countries are direct conflict parties in Ukraine and are fighting against Russia.
The federal government, on the other hand, usually emphasizes that it is not a party to the war in Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) answered on Wednesday evening on ZDF when asked whether Germany and its allies were not taking part in the war with the tank deliveries that had now been decided: "No, absolutely not. He added: "There must be no war between Russia and give to NATO." After Baerbock's statements, the Foreign Office also made it clear that Germany was "not a party to the conflict".
After the promise to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, Germany is increasingly criticized in Russia for using heavy weapons against Russian soldiers for the first time since World War II. The security expert Claudia Major from the Science and Politics Foundation spoke on Friday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin" of an "extremely unfortunate slip of the tongue" by Baerbock, who is now being exploited by Russian state propaganda.