Friday January 14, 2022
Tensions on border with Ukraine Lambrecht condemns Russian deployment
During her speech in the Bundestag, Defense Minister Lambrecht sharply criticized Russia. Any attack on Ukraine will have consequences, says the SPD politician. The minister also mentioned Moscow with regard to a deployment of the Bundeswehr in Mali.
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has condemned Russia’s behavior towards Ukraine. “I will say very clearly: the Russian deployment on the Ukrainian border violates all the rules of peaceful coexistence,” she emphasized in the Bundestag. “And every Russian attack on Ukraine will have consequences. Because the conflict threatens peace in Europe, we Europeans must therefore play an active role.” Lambrecht stressed that it was important to hold talks on this topic at all levels. “We must exhaust all means to defuse this conflict.” At the same time, however, it is clear that international law must be observed. “The state sovereignty of our eastern neighbors is inviolable,” stressed Lambrecht. Russia also has “no right of veto when it comes to alliance issues and cannot blackmail us here either.” In view of the extensive Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine, the West is concerned that Russia is preparing to invade the neighboring country. The Kremlin categorically rejects this. At the same time, he is demanding agreements from the USA and NATO that would ban the eastward expansion of NATO and the establishment of US military bases in states in the former Soviet sphere of influence. Lambrecht emphasized that the EU, both internally and together with NATO, should ” have to stand very close together”. In this context, she announced talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin next week.
Debate on deployment of the Bundeswehr in Mali
The Defense Minister also commented on the situation in Mali, where soldiers from the Bundeswehr are working as part of a UN mission and an EU operation. Lambrecht criticized the fact that the military junta in the country wants to postpone the elections initially planned for February by up to five years. New elections must be held quickly, “everything else is unacceptable”. “It is also a serious mistake that mercenaries supported by Russia are deployed in Mali,” Lambrecht added. These are known for “violating human rights, murdering, torturing and destabilizing other states”. Therefore, the following applies to the deployment of the Bundeswehr: “If nothing changes in Mali, there cannot be a simple business as usual there.” Most recently, Defense Commissioner Eva Högl questioned the deployment of the Bundeswehr in Mali and suggested examining a possible withdrawal. “We have to analyze that relentlessly. And then this option also belongs on the table,” said the SPD politician. However, “what our realistic goals are” must be agreed with the international partners. Germany should play an active role in this and present an honest interim assessment.
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