Chancellor Scholz defended aid to Ukraine in parliament and called on China to put pressure on Russia

Chancellor Scholz defended aid to Ukraine in parliament and called on China to put pressure on Russia

Chancellor Scholz defended aid to Ukraine in parliament and called on China to put pressure on Russia

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a speech to the Bundestag, March 2, 2023. 

Berlin – In a speech to the Bundestag today, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz rejected the conflict in Ukraine, peace dictated by Russia. He stressed that if Ukraine stopped defending itself, it would mean its end. According to the chancellor, helping Kiev is not only a moral obligation, but also part of Europe's security arrangement. The head of the German government also called on China not to arm Russia and to use its influence in Moscow to pressure the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

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“Love of peace does not mean submitting to a bigger neighbor,” Scholz said in response to some views that Germany should stop supplying weapons to the Ukrainian army. “If Ukraine stopped defending itself, it would be the end of it,” he said, adding that Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom and continued existence.

The chancellor noted that everyone now knows what life looks like under the Russian occupation, as cities such as Buča and Mariupol testify to this. That is why, according to him, the Ukrainians themselves must decide what the peace agreement will look like, calling any Russian dictation of peace terms unacceptable.

According to Scholz, therefore, Germany will support Ukraine as long as necessary. Berlin will continue to closely coordinate its aid with allies, especially with the US, so that NATO does not become a belligerent party.

In his speech, Scholz also addressed China, which maintains close ties to Russia and which has so far been reluctant to condemn the Russian invasion. “My message to Beijing is clear. Use your influence on Moscow to withdraw from Ukraine. Do not supply any weapons to the aggressor that is Russia,” he said. At the same time, he praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for opposing the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear rhetoric.

According to Scholz, the end of the conflict in Ukraine is entirely up to Russia. “Russia is striving for a military victory in Ukraine, but it will not achieve it. Russian President Vladimir Putin miscalculated that time is on his side,” he said. He noted that the sooner Putin understands that he will not fulfill imperialist goals, the greater the hope of ending the war.

A year ago, after the Russian attack on Ukraine, Scholz declared in a speech before the parliamentarians that the Russian aggression was a turning point in history, because it violated the European security system based on the fact that borders cannot be changed by force. At the time, the chancellor promised to strengthen the defense budget and provide a special arms fund of 100 billion euros (2.34 trillion CZK). “The promises I made a year ago still stand,” he said today. He stated that in support of Ukraine and in the interest of its own security, Germany will strengthen its arms industry, among other things, with long-term contracts.

After Scholz, the head of the conservative opposition and chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Friedrich Merz spoke to the MPs, who criticized the chancellor's lack of decisiveness and only slowly increasing financial support for the German army. He harshly criticized MPs from the post-communist Left and the populist and far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) for intentionally confusing who is the victim in the conflict and who is the aggressor during demonstrations for peace.

Merz, like other subsequent speakers pointed to the controversial Manifesto for Peace written by Left MP Sahra Wagenknecht and women's rights activist Alice Schwarzer. The manifesto asks Scholz to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine and to start taking action, but the document does not address Putin directly.

AfD co-chairman Tino Chrupalla spoke again against the supply of weapons today. “It's not our war,” he said. He then called the United States the only winner of the conflict. When he declared that he did not defend Russia's approach, the other MPs reacted with laughter.