As fans have always known, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz was evasive and adherent to the confidentiality of his information, and a staunch defender of his decisions and his political line.
In a rare television appearance, Schulz sat in front of several screens showing a photo of Vladimir Putin, as if the war in Ukraine insisted on cornering Germany’s most powerful man everywhere.
As read in Der Spiegel “Al-Ain News”, the German magazine described the interview as “similar to an interrogation”, about the situation in Ukraine, the dangers of banning Russian gas imports to Germany and the history of the biggest coup of Putin. punishment, the “billion”.
With as little information as possible, as always, Shultz tried to dispel the appearance of reluctance with which opponents accused him of facing the war in Ukraine, and spoke of constantly delivering weapons to kyiv, “but not talking about them, until that the batches got there safely”.
“This work is based on great preparation and a great plan,” he added, noting that Western sanctions against Moscow were “precisely prepared” “long before the outbreak of war.”
He added: “Germany also has its own interests, therefore direct participation in hostilities is excluded.” Regarding the Polish proposal to deploy peacekeepers in Ukraine, he said: “Even if we call them peacekeepers, they will still be soldiers.”
Faced with accusations from the opposition that Germany does not want to assume the prominence it deserves, he replied: “No, what is said is wrong.”
In this sense, he explained, “In my speech before Parliament, I put an end to a practice that lasted decades in the Federal Republic of Germany”, referring to his announcement of a historic turn in German defense policy with the start of the war. in Ukraine, and the inauguration of a plan to arm and strengthen the army.
Russian gas imports
Schultz clung to his government’s refusal to ban Russian gas imports for several reasons: “First, the sanctions we have imposed mean that Russia cannot do anything with the money transferred” in exchange for gas shipments, because already you cannot access them or the confiscated ones. assets.
“Theoretically, the Kremlin receives a billion dollars every day from Germany alone in exchange for gas, but cannot come close due to sanctions… There will simply be no economic boost for Russia as long as the war continues,” he said. .
“Secondly, a number of countries that ask us to make the decision to ban gas imports have not yet made the same decision,” continues the German chancellor. “When I was mayor of Hamburg, I wanted to promote the construction of stations of LNG. as an alternative, but no one wanted to finance them because the gas Russians are cheaper… market mechanisms have been completely relied on for a long time.”
“An incredible number of jobs in Germany depend on coal, gas and oil, and import bans could cripple entire branches of industry,” he said.
And he stated: “The truth is that we are going to create a great economic crisis if we do that (we have prohibited imports),” pointing to alternative plans that have been in the drawer for a long time and that are now being “activated.” promising that they will be ready by the end of the year.
Just as he showed reluctance to ban oil imports, Schultz took a similar stance by insulting Putin, saying only that “war is criminal, and it is Putin’s war, not Russia’s war.”
He clearly denied that the goal of Western policy is to remove Putin from power, saying: “This is not the issue or the goal of the policy we pursue together”, and was emotionally affected by the deaths of Russians “as a result of calculations and wrong decisions of the Russian president”, as he put it.
After a moment of emotional shock, Schultz returned to his firm face and stated clearly: “It is not allowed to use chemical or biological weapons… I warned Putin of the dire consequences of any action in this regard”, refusing to reveal these . serious consequences, adding: “I don’t want to go into details, and I have good reason to do so.
On Germany’s future strategy, Schulz replied: “We declared that we would make ourselves strong so that no one would dare to attack us.”
From a defensive point of view, this also includes an Israeli-style missile shield (Iron Dome) over the Federal Republic, according to the German chancellor.
“We all have to prepare for the fact that we have a neighbor who is currently using violence,” he adds.
The German chancellor warned that leafing through the history books and making the old borders the basis of current measures would plunge Europe into an “eternal war”, considering that “effectively the return of imperialism”, and “it must be prevented”. .
Responding to questions about the mechanism of action within his tripartite coalition for the first time in German history, Schulz refused to disclose information, saying: “I won’t do it even in my diary if I decide to write one.”
When asked if he thought the chancellorship was an easy job before he came to power, he replied with a single word: “No.”