Posted 25 ноября 2022, 08:23
Published 25 ноября 2022, 08:23
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
The influential German magazine Spiegel published on November 24 a long interview with ex-Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, who left her post a little less than a year ago. The publication recalls that just at that time, fears about a possible military conflict between Russia and Ukraine sounded more and more clearly.
“I would like a more peaceful time after my departure, because I had to deal with Ukraine a lot,” Merkel said about this. - But it didn't come as a surprise. The Minsk Agreement is blurred. In the summer of 2021, after Presidents Biden and Putin met, I wanted to create an independent European format for discussions with Putin, again with Emmanuel Macron in the Council of the EU. But someone began to object, and I no longer had the strength to insist on my own, because everyone knew that I would leave in the fall.
According to Merkel, during her last visit to Moscow in August 2021, the attitude towards her was “very clear”: “In terms of power politics, you are over. For Putin, only strength matters.” Merkel complained that she was not allowed to meet with Putin before leaving the post of German chancellor. With the Russian president, Merkel planned to discuss the situation in Ukraine in the hope of preventing the outbreak of a full-scale military conflict, she said.
Merkel also added that she did not regret her resignation as she believed it was time for a new approach: “Someone new had to take care of it. From the point of view of domestic policy, the issue is overripe. And in terms of foreign policy, in the end, I did not move a millimeter. Not only in relation to Ukraine. Transnistria and Moldova, Georgia and Abkhazia, Syria and Libya”.
However, according to Merkel, the Minsk agreements allowed Ukraine to gain time and become a stronger and more resilient country.
It is also interesting that Merkel admitted that she learned a lot from her predecessor Helmut Kohl. In an interview, she spoke about three of his most important lessons. “First: the importance of the personal in politics. Second: the joy of planning. Third: thinking in a historical context.
In her opinion, Kohl would like to resume relations with Russia, because in the end it will have to go. Merkel herself believes that taking Russia seriously is not a sign of weakness, but of wisdom.
It should be added that the attitude towards Merkel in German society changed dramatically after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, when the Germans realized the degree of dependence of the country's economy on the supply of Russian raw materials and, above all, gas. Olaf Scholz, who positioned himself in the elections as a politician as close as possible to Merkel, has announced a radical change of course since February. Many also blame Merkel for her opposition to Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO; According to critics, if these countries were now members of the alliance, Russia would not dare to behave this way towards Ukraine.
According to the latest data, 51% of Germans consider incumbent Chancellor Olaf Scholz less determined and confident than his predecessor, Angela Merkel. 11% say that Scholz, on the contrary, is more determined. 35% see no difference.
Spiegel also reports that in the summer Angela Merkel suffered a severe injury - a cruciate ligament rupture:
“Merkel sits on a black sofa, crosses her legs and leans on a bright red pillow with a heart. During the summer, she injured her knee in Salzburg, at a restaurant she visited with her husband. A special room has been reserved for the famous couple, a “dovecote,” as Angela Merkel says. She slipped on the wet boards and tore her cruciate ligament. "Austrians are always so excited when it comes to celebrities," she says, which makes the incident almost international.