HUkraine’s accession to the European Union, arms shipments, the course of the war – these were the main themes of Maybrit Illner. Military expert Gustav Gressel, who accused the chancellor of “meeting” in his speech in the Bundestag on Thursday, found the words clear at first.
Olaf Schultz has always stayed out of the limelight when it comes to his choice of words on the topic of the Ukraine war and leaves people in the dark about “where one really stands”. Conclusion Grisel, who works at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) think tank: “You could have given yourself that!” Politician Mary Agnes Struck Zimmermann put it more diplomatically: “Simple, clear language, helps the situation.”
Markus Feldenkirchen, the author of Spiegel’s book, also saw a “significant communication deficit” in the federal advisor. Olaf Schultz “is being pushed an extra meter from week to week”, but will not move “slowly but with hesitation,” according to Feldenkirchen’s ruling.
For the left’s foreign policy spokesman, Gregor Gyzy, German support for Ukraine with weapons went too far. “We have a different story,” he said. That is why other countries can supply arms to Ukraine, but not Germany. The Federal Republic should take care of humanitarian aid. Gezi said Germany “always makes money from war”.
In doing so, he sparked outrage among Strack-Zimmermann, who had been a prominent proponent of arms delivery for weeks. “Mr. Jesse, not again,” FDP politician Strack Zimmermann later explained, “I interpret history responsibly for what the generations before us have done there.”
Photographer and author Yevgenia Belorocets, who lives in Kyiv and Berlin, also contrasted sharply with Gysi. In the current situation, “as my country is being destroyed little by little in an aggressive and cynical way to talk about humanitarian aid,” that basically means to say, “We are okay with this destruction.”
“Certain criteria must be met,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), who was added to the programme, in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the EU, like any other country. She was optimistic about a possible accession in a shorter time frame.
Von der Leyen suggested linking future reconstruction aid to Ukraine with reforms. “We will have to help finance the reconstruction of Ukraine anyway,” von der Leyen said. Then, from her point of view, it makes sense to say: “Yes to investments, but immediately with the necessary reforms, for example to combat corruption or for example to establish the rule of law.” I also discussed this with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.
Ukraine has already applied to join the European Union and would like to join as soon as possible. But recently, French President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Olaf Schulz (Social Democratic Party) have not slowed down, most recently during his speech in the Bundestag on Thursday. Accession to the European Union usually takes several years from the date of application.
At the same time, von der Leyen said the EU is studying ways to use frozen assets of Russian oligarchs to fund post-war reconstruction in Ukraine. In this way, Russia can contribute to the reconstruction after the war, said the head of the commission.
Author Belorusets said EU accession is an “important perspective”. Strack-Zimmermann and Gysi agreed on this point: as long as “clear rules of the game” are observed, discussions about the possibility of joining the European Union should be encouraged.
“The war will be over for Ukraine when we get what is ours,” Ukrainian President Zelensky said last week. This also includes the expulsion of the Russian army from all of Ukraine and Ukraine and the restoration of Donbass and Crimea. “This is a legitimate war objective, but is it also realistic?” Coordinator Elner asked security expert Grisel.
How the problem of Russian military personnel develops depends on the “time horizon,” Grisel said. Little by little, the Ukrainian army is getting bigger. There is a potential turning point in the summer, “where the Ukrainian army can have the upper hand if nothing happens on the Russian side.” At the same time, Grisel said: “We still have a lot of wars ahead, unfortunately.”