Anyone who sees the images of the war in Ukraine would be completely insensitive were it not for the urge to do whatever it takes to stop this senseless orgy of violence unleashed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In “Anne Will” these images are shown at the beginning of the program. But is Germany really doing everything imaginable? That is what the program is about, in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, also participates, together with the German-Ukrainian writer Katja Petrokskaja. And in which the German pangs of conscience become very clear.
Not everyone can assert the German position that sanctions will not be extended to include an immediate cut off of all energy supplies from Russia as seriously as Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In any case, his deputy Robert Habeck of the Greens cannot do it. Habeck does not sit in the group as a guest, but is added for a detailed interview early on.
And Habeck doesn’t just look overworked and teary-eyed. He seems on the verge of bursting into tears as he explains the German position. “It’s not wise to do something you can’t keep up with,” says Habeck. And Germany cannot bear an immediate embargo. One must first become independent from Russian energy and one is working on this day and night. So it’s “right that we don’t do everything,” says Habeck, openly admitting: “It’s bitter and morally unpleasant.”
He is supported by his coalition partner Lars Klingbeil, the head of the SPD, who, however, also seems very unhappy. “It’s a dilemma we find ourselves in,” admits Klingbeil, “we weigh things every day.” But Klingbeil also believes that an immediate embargo is “not wise”. The consequences could endanger social cohesion in Germany. Immediately, “I don’t think that’s possible.”
Kieswetter demands: “Shut down the money supply to Putin”
The two government politicians have the support of political scientist Claudia Major, who heads the research group on security policies at the Science and Policy Foundation. When it comes to sanctions, the question is always who will hold out longer. And Germany must ensure that the consequences of the sanctions for its own country can be sustained. “If we weaken, it backfires on us.” CDU MP Roderich Kieswetter, on the other hand, demands that one must “turn off the money tap for Putin” and repeats his party’s offer to support a shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline (not to be confused with Nord Stream 1). 2), which has been running since 2011.
The Ukrainian guests cannot understand the German position at all. Petrovskaya already shakes her head during the interview with Habeck. “What else needs to be done?” she asks the group. Putin only understands force, which is why the escalation can only be stopped with tougher measures. A little later, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba became even clearer. Germany has helped build Putin’s Russia’s current force, says Kuleba, later reporting on captured Russian military vehicles in which Bosch components were discovered. Whenever he asks why tougher sanctions haven’t been decided on in Europe, he always hears: “That’s because of Germany.”
Now “the true face of Russia” can be seen, Kuleba says, appealing to Germany via television: “You have the power to do this. Stop Putin.” SPD leader Lars Klingbeil once again expresses his willingness to take further action against Putin and at the same time draws the red line. “By taking Germany into World War III, we cannot cross that threshold.” And of course, at the end of the show, Anne Will asked Klingbeil about Gerhard Schröder and his trip to see Putin. The answer is great. “Gerhard Schröder does not travel on behalf of the federal government.” And so far she has not had any contact with Schröder.