Comment from Ulrich Reitz: Scholz explains a lot, but gives only vague answers to the most important questions
When Olaf Schulz makes his government’s statement at 9 a.m. Thursday, he can make some points about Germany’s position on Ukraine. Because there is a lack of clarity on the crucial points.
In what circumstances and when will Olaf Schulz go to Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky in person? The advisor’s declaration that he does not want to travel there just for a ‘photo session’ and that the matters to be discussed ‘concretely’ can also be understood as a smokescreen. Was the trip of his foreign minister, Annalena Barbock, opposition leader Friedrich Merz, and three chairmen of committees from Amble’s parties just a “photoshoot”?
Anyway, Taz took Schulz’s remarks as a smokescreen. Which is why it rejected its front page with photos showing Schultz on symbolic dates – with singer Odo Lindenberg, for example, or the British heirs to the throne Kate and William. “Specifically” one could speak of:
arms shipments. For weeks, Schulze, the head of the Federal Security Council, has not made a decision on the Marder and Leopard tanks ordered by Ukraine, which the defense sector can repair in a few weeks. At the Bundestag Defense Committee, the chancellor said there would be no more arms shipments. Does this mean that after the promised delivery of the Gepard tanks, Marder or Leopard One tanks will not be delivered to Ukraine? And why are leopards handed over, but not Martinez and Leos? Where is the logic in that? this leads to:
Russia. Is the German chancellor in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to “humiliate” Russia? And what follows from this? Macron, like Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, is pushing for a quick ceasefire in the Ukraine war. The head of the Italian government said more: one must now think of a “negotiated peace”. The idea behind this is a “face-saving” solution for the Russians. Is this also Olaf Schultz’s goal: a peace in which the aggressor Vladimir Putin can save face? this leads to:
Ukraine. Why are Germany, France and Italy, the three largest countries in Western Europe, discussing things like ceasefires, peace talks and saving face at a time when Ukraine is achieving one military victory after another? Is this fear of a military “victory” of Ukraine over Russia? Because such a victory, as the German chancellor said, could lead to a further “escalation”?
Zelenskyj commented on the topic of “saving face” in an interview with Italian TV. We want the Russian army to leave our country. We are not on Russian soil.” More specifically, to Western Europeans: “We do not want to help Putin save face by paying for it with our country.” More clearly, to the French president: Macron is looking “in vain” for a “way out for Russia” . this leads to:
war goal. Olaf Schultz has so far avoided an obvious statement on the matter. His standard formula is: Ukraine must not lose and Russia must not win. And so the chancellor chose a defensive formula. In doing so, he avoided an attack, as defined by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: Ukraine “can win,” and Russia must be weakened so that it is unable to wage an aggressive war like the one in Ukraine, according to the Pentagon chief. The victory of Ukraine, the weakening of Russia, these are clear war aims. Where is Olaf Schultz from this relationship? this leads to:
withdrawal of forces. For Schulze, Macron and Draghi, a ceasefire comes first. Schulz said on RTL that he asked Putin during his last phone call. Schulz then tweeted three points.
- Armistice “as soon as possible”.
- “The claim that the Nazis rule there is wrong.”
- Russia’s Responsibility for the “Global Food Situation”.
There is no point four. It can be read: Russia must completely withdraw its forces from a free and sovereign Ukraine. This is the basic condition for a ceasefire.
Certainly: Schulz once said that the Russians should withdraw their forces from Ukraine. But so far, Shultz has not followed Zelensky’s line that a ceasefire can only be granted on the condition that Putin withdraw his soldiers from Ukraine. But such clarification would be important.
Scholz explains a lot, but is incomprehensible
Schulze’s position can be summarized as follows:
Germany does not impose a gas embargo because that would affect Germany more than Russia.
Germany no longer supplies heavy weapons because that would push Russia to “escalate”.
Germany wants peace, but does not yet want a “victory” for Ukraine.
Germany rejects a “spelling peace” but believes in a “diplomatic solution”.
The chancellor says he is clearly on the side of Ukraine. This is only half the truth. The second is that Shultz takes Russian interests into account in his decisions.
It can now be seen that no German chancellor communicated as extensively as Olaf Schulz now does. It happens almost every day now. Schulz’s attempts to explain his policies in the Bundestag and on television and social media have not yet been understood.
And it’s definitely not because of the audience. The sender and receiver will only understand each other if the messages are clear and do not obscure anything. One last one:
When Schultz speaks, it’s not just Germans. Ukraine is listening, Russia is listening, the Americans are listening, and the Poles are listening.
With all the clarity Schultz lacks, clarity around Germany is growing abroad.
When Putin attacks the West, he is the first German to respond