Home Breaking “Strange” – Merz criticizes Scholz’s statement about “photo dates” in Kyiv

“Strange” – Merz criticizes Scholz’s statement about “photo dates” in Kyiv


Union faction leader Friedrich Merz was irritated by statements by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on politicians’ trips to Kyiv in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “I find it strange that the Chancellor apostrophes the committee chair, the President of the Bundestag and the Foreign Minister as he said last night on this television program,” criticized the CDU leader on Tuesday before a meeting of the Union faction in the Bundestag. Merz asked Scholz to finally travel to the Ukrainian capital himself.

Scholz had made it clear on RTL television on Monday that he only wanted to travel to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv if there were specific things to be settled. “I’m not going to join a group of people who do a quick in and out with a photo op. But when it does, then it’s always about very specific things,” said the Chancellor.

Last week, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) was the first member of the government to travel to Kyiv since the beginning of the war. Shortly before that, the President of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas (SPD), was there. At the end of April, the chair of the Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), the head of the European Committee, Anton Hofreiter (Greens), and the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth (SPD), were in Ukraine for talks.

Opposition leader Merz himself was the first high-ranking German politician to be in Kyiv at the beginning of May and spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for around an hour. Merz now said that the way Scholz portrayed his cabinet colleague and representatives of the Bundestag “also shows a bit what the mood in this coalition is now and how we treat each other”. The chancellor must agree on this style with himself and his cabinet. It was “obviously part of his demeanor. He has to decide that himself.”

In a question and answer session on RTL television on Monday, Chancellor Scholz again warned of an escalation of the war in Ukraine. “We have to worry that the war will escalate,” said the Chancellor. The aim must be that Russia does not win the war in Ukraine.

At the same time, Scholz warned that one should not go beyond that. “In view of the fact that it is a nuclear power, that would be a completely wrong objective,” added the Chancellor.

He sees no signs of the war ending anytime soon. “So far, unfortunately, it has not been possible to see that the realization has grown that this should be ended here as quickly as possible,” said Scholz.

Scholz also ruled out that there would be a peace with Russia in which conquered areas in Ukraine would be legalized. “It is very clear to me that there is only one way out of this situation for Russia if it comes to an agreement with Ukraine,” said Scholz. An agreement will not be possible with a dictated peace in which the Ukraine should sign that it cedes areas. “It will not work.”

It won’t work either, “similar to what happened in other places or, for example, with Crimea, that the war suddenly doesn’t take place in the sense that there’s no more shooting, but then new border lines are drawn and then wait everyone that it gets back to normal.” Rather, it is inevitable that there will be an understanding with Ukraine. Ukraine will be supplied with weapons for its own defense until Russian President Putin sees this.

Scholz promised a speedy delivery of the promised anti-aircraft tank “Gepard” if ammunition could be found in other countries. “It will go relatively quickly if we get commitments from others,” he said, referring to inquiries from Switzerland or Brazil, for example.

“Kick-off Politics” is WELT’s daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or directly via RSS feed.