Lampsdorf denies establishing economic relations with Russia at the “Hart-Aber Fair” despite gas supplies

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to: Theresa Schaumburg

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In the ARD program “Heart Upper Fair”, FDP politician Alexander Graf Lampsdorff denied the economic relationship between Germany and Russia despite the gas supplies. (screenshot) © ARD

In the “Hart aber Fair” on ARD with Frank Plasberg, the Ukrainian conflict was once again the dominant theme: the guests spread little hope for the war.

“History teaches us: every war will eventually end, but when and how?” Frank Blasberg adds philosophically. And the question resonates: Do discussion groups like these still function at all in times of war? At least they run according to different laws, as tonight shows.

At first, the group simply listened to the “Hart Upper Gallery” – Spiegel reporter Christoph Reuter, who talks about his attempts to travel through Ukraine, the blood and toys scattered at the Kramatorsk train station after the missile attack there, from the “astonishing irony” with which the phrase “for children” was inscribed. on this missile and from the ruthless strategy of bombing the railway so that more people congregate there as targets. “What’s happening here is nothing but terrorism,” says ARD’s Christoph Reuter. The line for him continues to separate, sometimes only scraps can be understood, but every word hits the mark.

“Difficult but Fair” (ARD): “Sad awakening” in an ancient world

This can also be seen in guests in the ARD studio. Everyone in Frank Blasberg’s circle is shockingly united in what Alexander Graf Lampsdorff, FDP foreign policy officer and deputy leader of the parliamentary group, said: “In the next stage, the solution has to be military. It sounds outdated, but unfortunately that is what it is.” . Ralph Fox, president of the think-tank Zentrum Liberale Moderne and a member of the Green Party, believes the government has moved massively, but always too little and too slowly.

“We have to provide all kinds of weapons, including heavy weapons, long-range artillery and armored vehicles.” The old distinction between offensive and defensive weapons has become meaningless. And ZEIT reporter Petra Benzler came to a disappointing conclusion regarding Germany’s efforts to date to resolve conflicts civilly, of which she has long been proud: “I live it now as a sad awakening, in a different world.”

Guests at the Hart But Fair on Monday (4/11/2022) profession
Margaret Klein Russia and a military expert at the Foundation for Science and Policy
Alexander Graf Lampsdorf Foreign politician, deputy leader of the parliamentary bloc of the Free Democratic Party
Ralph Viox Propaganda, Head of Research Center Zentrum Liberale Moderne, Member of the Green Party since 1982
Christopher Reuter SPIEGEL reporter, reporter from Ukraine
Petra Benzler Correspondent at the capital’s editorial office DIE ZEIT

“Difficult but just” (ARD): bleak prospects – “destruction like World War II”

Frank Blasberg’s guests at ARD also agree on the bleak analysis of how long the Ukraine war has gone on and how frightening it can become. “Russia is going to war in succession,” says Margaret Klein, Russian and military expert at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, “This would probably take a very long time and assume different states of aggregation, with sometimes boiling, sometimes seemingly quieter phases.” Ralph Fock even predicted in “Difficult but Fair”: “There will be destruction not seen since World War II.”

Frank Blasberg feels that it is difficult to discuss all these frightening scenarios. In this respect, he limits his role in large parts of this “difficult but fair” edition to relieving the oppressive questions present in the room. How do you negotiate with Russia? Guests largely agree that negotiations must continue despite everything. So much so, that the countries of the European Union certainly cannot decide whether the Donbass should be left to Russia, for example, just because of the effects of fatigue. “Negotiating the parts that still belong to the state is Ukraine’s business,” says Petra Prenzler, and Alexander Graf Lampsdorff agrees: “We will not negotiate territorial issues at the head of Ukraine.”

“Difficult but Fair” (ARD): Economic Sanctions – “The time for cheap energy is over”

The group seems almost relieved when Frank Blasberg finally turns to a topic that at least looks like even ordinary citizens can contribute something: the issue of phasing out Russia’s energy supplies. Criticisms, albeit cautious, are directed primarily at the traffic light government. Frank Blasberg provides an accusatory quote from Kyiv Mayor Vatali Klitschko. There are countries that say that war is a really bad thing. But at the same time, they want to establish an economic relationship with Russia. “This point is incorrect,” Alexander Graf Lampsdorff defended himself and the traffic light government. Frank Blasberg asks sharply, “Isn’t buying gas an economic relationship?” The FDP man points to the efforts of Economy and Environment Minister Robert Habeck to find alternatives. “You can’t blame the traffic light for inactivity.”

“Difficult but fair” in ARD

Difficult but fair from April 11 on ARD – link to the show in the media library

Now there is still a debate about how Russian gas and oil can replace and provide energy and who will or should be affected more: the construction sector or the industry? Does freezing help for peace or vice versa: Does politics allow people to freeze? “The time for cheap energy is over,” asserts Ralph Fox. “Government has not yet found a proper way of saying we have to learn to let go of things,” Petra Benzler adds. And here Christoph Reuter again brings the Ukrainian impression. The hesitant German position is followed by a great misunderstanding: “But the question of gas is not as important as the question: Will Kramatorsk remain there next week?”

‘Difficult but fair’ (ARD): Little hope at the end – Ukraine as an example that democracy can work

And what do the Russians actually think? As expected, the answer to this question is frustrating. Frank Blasberg provides poll numbers, according to which 83 percent of Russians support Putin’s policies. But how reliable are those numbers that come from a “media environment in which there is no freedom of expression,” as Margaret Klein asserts. In a video in which a pro-Russian protester in Germany, looking at the corpse of Bucha, says that “the whole theater,” President Volodymyr Zelensky is an actor and comedian, and she does not believe him, Margaret Klein adds: “Above all, young people in Russia really value freedom of expression.”

So, is there still a chance for democracy against demagogy? Ukraine correspondent Christoph Reuter, who spoke of the “wonderful society” he experienced among Ukrainians last month, gets the final word on ARD with a bit of hope. Zelensky can deliver weapons to the population, while Putin is afraid of a word. Ukraine is the best example that democracy can work as a free country.” (Theresa Schaumburg)

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