Monday, February 26

Schulz’s SPD tries to define if it is with Kiev or Moscow

Correspondent in Berlin



Contradictory statements by several prominent leaders of the German Social Democratic Party and the silences of Chancellor Olaf Scholz in relation to the Ukraine crisis they are having consequences. The German government’s refusal to deliver weapons to Ukraine, except for a symbolic batch of 5,000 helmets, has drawn bitter criticism, not only from Kiev, but also from the governments of the Baltic countries. And as published this past weekend by the weekly ‘Der Spiegel’, the German ambassador to the United States has sent an alert to Berlin in which she warns that “in Washington the thesis is beginning to gain strength that you cannot trust Germany in the crisis with Russia»

and that “the idea that Berlin is with Putin is gaining ground.” It is not even six months since Scholz replaced in the Chancellery Angela Merkel and Germany already appears to be losing much of its diplomatic potential. To avoid this sharp decline, the president of the SPD, Lars Klingbeil, cloistered himself yesterday with officials and deputies from his party to establish a common position and demand discipline. The content of the meeting will be kept confidential, but even if it has achieved its objectives, as internal SPD sources suggest, it will still need to unify positions with the other two members of the coalition: Liberals and Greens.

stop the pipeline

In addition to the different historical relationship that the three parties of the ‘traffic light coalition’ maintain with Russia, there is an element that makes Germany’s current position difficult and difficult. One of the possible and most effective sanctions with which the Western allies can threaten Moscow is the paralysis of the Russian Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, ready to double the amount of liquefied natural gas that Russia sends to Europe through the Baltic Sea and awaiting the license to operate. In total, the 2,500 kilometers of pipes have cost more than 10,000 million euros that could now be lost, while Germany would suffer an increase in energy prices that Klinbeil himself has put at 5.5%, thus implying that that sanction should not be chosen after Scholz personally assured US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, which is one of the sanctions on the table. This will be one of the points that Scholz personally discusses with Joe Biden, the President of the United States, at their meeting on February 7. And it doesn’t help the bilateral relationship that both his party and his government are making confusing statements.

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