A good year after the Russian attack on Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz still sees no basis for peace negotiations. "You can't negotiate with a gun at your temple - except about your own submission," he made clear in a government statement in the Bundestag on Thursday. With clear words, the SPD politician rejected all those who recently demanded concessions from Ukraine. "Love of peace does not mean submission to a larger neighbor. If Ukraine stopped defending itself, then that would not be peace, it would be the end of Ukraine," emphasized Scholz.
German media commented on the government statement as follows:
Augsburger Allgemeine: "Scholz limited himself to enumerating the supposed successes of his "turning point". He ignored the downsides. 'We can do it', former Chancellor Angela Merkel once exclaimed, expressing both confidence and a healthy dose of self-doubt. It would have been beneficial to the mood in the country if Scholz had come up with a similarly concise sentence in addition to a lot of self-praise."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "Scholz was laughed at for an assertion (...): when he spoke of Germany's increased resilience and claimed that this was most evident when looking at the Bundeswehr. Not even he can believe that. The Bundeswehr is even more bare ' More than a year ago, because it had to hand over significant amounts of tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition to the Ukraine without the depots being replenished. (...). Only a third of the 'special fund' has been planned. The new Germany speed, which Scholz spoke of again, is still proving to be a snail's pace when it comes to training the Bundeswehr."
Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung: "Many people hoped that this turning point would change something overall. That the war on our doorstep would sharpen our eyes in our own country for what is important: security, health, education. With all the help for Ukraine, with all the focus on the Bundeswehr - the government also has to take care of climate change, affordable rents, good schools, healthy nutrition, the renovation of hospitals, the improvement of care and the integration of migrants."
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger: "After Putin's attack on Ukraine, Scholz had to laboriously keep society together with a huge financial effort by the government. Now he should take care of the cohesion of his coalition. At the turn of the century, the government has to focus on the essentials domestically concentrated: social peace."
Leipziger Volkszeitung: "After Putin's attack on Ukraine, Olaf Scholz laboriously kept society together with a huge financial effort by the government, now he should take care of the cohesion of his government. A turning point in time means that a coalition concentrates on the most important things : on social peace at home."
Reutlinger General-Anzeiger: "Leading Bundeswehr generals can definitely be credited with more military competence than the civilians Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann and Anton Hofreiter. The experts say that the war can only end with a negotiation. That's why Scholz is smart not only on the phone with Zelenskyy, but also with Putin to find out when there would be a willingness for a ceasefire It was far-sighted that Scholz didn't talk too much about being reminded only of promises that he can keep . Politicians are not judged by their words at the end of the day, but by their actions. The last word has not yet been spoken."
World: "The Federal Chancellor made it clearer than ever before that the support for the victims of Putin's imperialist aggression is nothing less than the historical responsibility of the Federal Republic. "We have to dissuade Putin from his course of war," Scholz said in February 2022, expressing his confidence that the Western sanctions and the resistance of the Russian population would make the Kremlin give in. There was no longer any talk of either. According to the message, the chancellor is no longer under any illusions about Putin's Russia."
Sources: DPA, "World".