Merkel backs Ukrainian provocations against Russia
1 December 2018
Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken a clear stand on Ukraine’s side in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in the Azov Sea.
Shortly before her departure for the G20 summit in Argentina, the Chancellor spoke to German and Ukrainian business representatives in Berlin in the presence of Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. She sharply attacked Russia and declared that the Russian president is fully responsible for the present conflict, triggered by the intrusion of Ukrainian Navy ships into Russian territorial waters.
Merkel called on Russia to release the detained Ukrainian soldiers and to “not simply cut off” Ukrainian cities like Mariupol. She understood, she told the representatives of German industry who were present, that many of them “would like to have good economic relations with Russia”, but here “fundamental principles are at stake”. She promised to talk to the Russian president at the G20 summit to this effect.
The Chancellor did not go as far as to announce additional sanctions against Russia or the deployment of German warships to the Black Sea, as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had demanded. But she left no doubt that Germany would be on the Ukrainian side in the event of a further escalation of the conflict.
The West had guaranteed Ukraine the inviolability of its borders in the 1994 “Budapest Memorandum” in return for the renunciation of nuclear weapons, she said. “Therefore, we have a duty to stand by what we once promised.”
By taking sides with Ukraine, Merkel is drawing Germany deeper into a conflict that has the potential to escalate into a major war or even a nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia.