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tv   To the point - Russia- Ukraine-conflict Is Germany letting the West down  Deutsche Welle  January 28, 2022 12:30pm-1:00pm CET

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oh mm i, in many countries, education is still a privilege. hummadi is one of the main causes some young children work in mind. jobs instead of going to class others can attend classes only after they finish working with millions of children, all over the world can't go to school. mm hm. we ask why. and because education makes the world more, just make up your own mind. d. w. make for minds dire warnings mount as russian forces dig in on ukraine's border and diplomatic talk stall is europe facing its biggest military confrontation since the 2nd world
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war. that remains unclear, even as military muscle flexing, sends a signal of overwhelming strength. some nato member countries seek to alter the imbalance by supplying ukraine with weapons and threatening russia with sanctions. yet a key european player equivocate. to day we asked russia ukraine. conflict is germany, letting its allies down with hello and welcome to, to the point. it's a pleasure to greet our guests. michelle, to man is diplomatic correspondent of the hamburg based weekly deed site. and his point of view for vladimir, put in ukraine, is merely one aspect in the global showdown with the u. s. alexander raw our heads,
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the russian industry association in germany and publishes frequently on russian issues. his opinion. this conflict is much harder to resolve than the cuban missile crisis. face saving compromises are not insight today. and it's great to have with us jessica berlin. she is an expert on security policy and geo politics, and she says germany can no longer prioritize it's economic interests over its international obligations. jessica, germany's new government is getting some of the worst international press. this country has seen him quite a long time, deservedly. absolutely. this is precisely a moment when germany needs to lead. we are the largest country and economic power in europe. we're the 4th largest economy in the world. and yet from the constant, i'm from the chancellor. re, we hear silence mostly on ukraine. this is truly
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a destabilizing factor right now for nato's position with russia. now you are opening statement implies that the new german government is prioritizing its economic interests in the sense of commercial relations with russia. but former chancellor miracle was similarly inclined, and yet after the uh, the ukraine annexation of crimea in 2014, she played a very strong role in rallying e u. member states around sanctions. and also in initiating the so called minced process of talks between ukraine and russia. so what's changed? the government right now we have an as p d lead government, and the s p d let's remember is traditionally very russia friendly gal treated the former as p d. chancellor. sits in the board of directors of gust problem and one of the leading proponents of nordstrom to and this project should it be cancelled,
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should the german government openly declare that it will be void if russia invades ukraine? this will have a real domestic political fall out for the s p d for chancellor schultz is party. and these are the issues right now. unfortunately, and the internal debates and germany that are being placed over our international obligations to lead on security and peace in europe. michelle, you say it's all about the showdown between russia and the us. so does any thing germany could do actually matter? would it make a difference? oh yes, it would make a huge difference simply because if we talk about all the possible measures the west could take if, if, if there was any conflict between russia and ukraine or russian invasion in, in this case, it is above and firm. all of it is germany, or in the 1st row germany will have to put in his weight as an economic power. all
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the economic sanctions will be paid by germany as the economic leader in europe. this was the case and 2014. and this is why i think chancellor shores should now speak up and actually live up to the expectations often international role of germany. i want to dig deeper on sanctions and, and german attitudes a little bit later on. but alexander a, for a long time, there was a consensus in this country that germany really couldn't afford to take a diplomatic sunday vague as they say, essentially, to depart from the path taken by the rest of the west by key allies. do you think that that is changing and if so, why? no, it's not changing, but we have a challenge in front of us. we can solve the present crisis by military means by strength, by pushing russia back. maybe even with military means with sanctions. but then we
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have to expect counter measures from russia, which could lead to a 3rd world war. the other way of trying to solve the conflict is a diplomatic way. and the thing that germany firmly stance on of a diplomatic beth, and we'll try till the end if it's possible to solve the crisis with diplomatic and not military and not other means and ways that german doing this. because i think germany and the stance maybe other than the countries like poland over great britain or the night it states. natasha has a point in question in the present european security structure. because if you remember, it was all $1008.00 of the west was already already to bring curb countries like georgia and crane intell, nato, and germany and france vet taught this sir step and said there will be no place
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right now for these 2 countries as long as they have difficult difficulties with russia and the thing germany is that as firmly stance on this position right now, it will try to convince russia that we have to corporate together or we're in europe in secretary security architecture. but of course, it is also willing other than others. listen also to russia argument. it's interest and security. objections are threatened by a further nato expansion. germans have their own net term for those who's who sympathize with russia and with its president vladimir putin. they call this put in festa. nonetheless, few people here would have supposed that such sentiments would manifest themselves at the highest levels of the german military. ah, the german admiral and faraway, india fired these words like gunshots,
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striking mini ukrainians. right in the heart. russia he can do it, knows if east is bliss. oh, he really lost this respect. ah, we russia against charter economy opens. rose is gone. no come. but this is this effect the ukrainian response was swift with ukrainian ambassador firing back on twitter. german arrogance and megalomania. the german government has to change its course towards key f and q has major vitaly could go even complained that germany had committed treason against ukraine. is germany, still a trustworthy ally to ukraine? i wanna put that question in a moment to jessica, but it's just worthy of note that of admiral, as shown by actually went even further than what we heard there and suggested that
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share to christian ala, a values could to make russia a good ally for germany. these a v china jessica, let me just put that question to you about about whether germany is letting its its partners down. it has categorically ruled out sending defensive weapons to ukraine, and it's even blocking a shipment of german origin artillery from estonia to ukraine. how reliable is germany as a partner looking germany's response was already disappointing. these comments from a former admiral shown by just added fuel to the fire and, and now the just the other day of this announcement of germany sending 5000 helmets as military support to you. craig, in these kinds of miss statements and miss steps only reinforce the very valid
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impression that germany is not doing enough. quite frankly, we are betraying our own responsibility as a leader in the european union and in europe. with this kind of saves the shift to going, we say in german and this, this some being completely consumed with our own issues that we are not able to pull ourselves together and say, this is the role that we play in the world. now, this is what the moment requires of us and what our allies need to see from us. we are actually weakening the position of ukraine and all of nato, with our indecision. michelle, critics say that germany doesn't get the concept of deterrence that it believes that by sending soft with a medical supplies to ukraine, that would actually have a deterrent effect. and i'd like to ask you whether you agree and then also a question about the new coalition, but perhaps would you say germany just doesn't get it?
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well i, i think germany of course understands what deterrence mean, but i do not. i don't think that at this point in time, chancellor shows is able actually to display what deterrents in both military and an alter and verbal ways and diplomatic ways meet. and what he has missed in the very beginning of the crisis is when he was already chancellor or to speak up and to clearly say, where is the red line of germany. and he also has missed to assume leadership in europe as it was the case with the chancellor merkel in 2014 when she brought europe, which was also at a critical phase there. we remember the euro crisis, but she managed to copy things together and, and sooner is at this point in time,
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he is just to silent. and this is the opposite of deterrence, because the turns not is not only something about military, but it's about diplomatic means to keep europe to gather in this very sensitive moment. well, it's not only chancellor shots, of course is making policy, the foreign minister, and then a bare buck prior to the election had actually been quite outspoken in saying germany needs to take a tougher line. these a v, both russia and china. and if we look back a bit in, in german history, it was a green, foreign minister, yoshika fisher, in 1999 who actually helped the green party break through its ideological pacifism and back the nato bombing of serbia. yet we're not seeing similar action here from foreign minister, bear bark, or could that change? well, i think she has a done quite a lot in the past few weeks to,
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to actually make germany somehow visit in visible in the world. and especially in ukraine than in moscow with her visits there. and the problem is that in fact, at this, in this moment, we seem to have in the leadership of the so called traffic light or coalition in the red for the social democrats, the green in for the greens and the yellow for the free demo. for them, for us anyways and, and the greens and the social democrats simply lack at this point in time. these strategically thinking politicians like yours, catfish at the time who was able actually to pull around the cause of his party and . and even if you don't need to pull around the questioners where they, you are able to, to grasp and actually then also to send the right thing, mills signals out the right time. meanwhile, alexander, other nato countries with canada and britain at the forefront, but also including,
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for example, the baltic. several baltic countries are sending defensive equipment and training missions to ukraine. do you think that's likely to deter vladimir, put in, or to provoke him? i think the european, so i looking for a common response to russia's military, build up her at the border to crane. but if i mia would come shortly back to what you asked about the greens to have a war against serbian militia, which is something else than fighting russia. if the nuclear power this is nor alternative that is not possible. and i think there had been a lot of quarrels in the present government between shorts and bare book and at the end or shorts could convince or mrs. bare book. also to follow a more rational line returned back to the out politic and not only follow the line of liberal values which have to be defendants all over the world. and this is the
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change in the german policy, which were with us now. and i think that shorts hopefully will soon meet or put in and start a policy for europe towards russia, which will include also some kinds of abs reduction talks where he has to push russia to because her this is not going well right now. he also needs to or invest a lot of power and energy into the normal, the format into the talks between france, germany, russia and ukraine on solving of the east european east korean in crisis. and i think it's, it's still possible to do it. it is though crane has no other chance as giving the don boss regions are more autonomy, maybe full autonomy, then it will keep it's country to get on best being the contested region in the east. let me come to the normandy format because in fact, germany together with france has just co hosted
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a new round of normandy format talks. these are the talks that essentially bring together russia and ukraine under french and german oversight, so to speak. they did talk for 8 hours. jessica, does that offer any reason to be optimistic that there might be a diplomatic solution? that certainly is germany's line. they repeat like a mantra that the only solution here is, has got to be diplomatic. i agree to an extent, of course it's, it's always good news when the channels for dialogue are open, everyone is still coming to the table because all parties in this conflict know that war is in no one's interest. this however, begged the question, then why did vladimir putin send over 100000 troops to the ukrainian border? what does he want here? you mentioned earlier, a liberal values. this is not
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a question right now of values. this is a question of sovereignty and the rule of law, ukraine is an independent sovereign nation, and russia is currently threatening it. so this is the issue at stake. i'm. it's not a question of eastward expansion of nato. it's not a question of a rehashing of the cold war right now. a sovereign independent nation is being threatened by a much larger, much more powerful neighbor. and in the normandy formats and beyond. europe and our transatlantic partners are looking to calm the tensions de escalate. but not give concessions for what is effectively geopolitical bullying of a free state. let's drill a little bit deeper on potential motives that might, that might be seen here and ask, where is this stand off heading? since russian troops,
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troops started mobilizing observers have been deep debating putins true motives and the likelihood of escalation o military images of russia, maneuvers on the ukrainian border with a very clear message. russia is ready to fight, but also given him in return, ukraine has been mobilizing volunteers for a possible war, supported by an increasing number of western allies that are supplying the country with weapons. the u. s. alone has now sent $200000000.00 worth of supplies. even redeploying american troops from western to eastern europe is now no longer considered taboo. the arms race on both sides of the border is frightening young ukrainians in the eastern part of the country. in particular. yes, i can say i'm scared. said no, but it's still dangerous here. it's scary because you're out. my child hadn't done yet. i heard the war shelling tanks rolling to the city when my friends and i went
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for a walk, which was not often this is what we saw tanks driving along and people holding weapons from the georgia. bertha will. yes. so it feels like we're cut off from the rest of the world. so meta, will russia actually invade ukraine? so the question of why the russian will invade or ukraine certainly appears to be approaching now the moment of truth, so to speak, alexander, because president putin has been waiting for the united states to respond to a written list of demands. and the u. s. has now done so and apparently included confidence building offers, including on restarting the weapons talks, which a you have just said is necessary. so are you really so certain that there is no face saving compromise insight, as you said in your opening statement, the face compromise can only be all set face saving compromise. if nato will not
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expend the tool crane. i think that fortune wants to crown his presidency, his long presence, if what 20 years to achieve a non membership, awful crane, and ga in his neighbourhood, and sir, as long as sue nito will not give the guarantees of not bringing this country into nato. there will be quarrels, but i think that there will be indeed some compromises. sir, the talks and the negotiations will be prolonged, maybe endlessly and search through this phase of could of talks, confrontation may become less. and this is important. michelle, de facto, everybody knows ukraine is not about to join nato any time soon. nato cannot take on a new member state where there's a conflict. it's as simple as that. joe biden has made it clear from the start that demands that nato would formally rule out. ukraine ever being a member, nonetheless, are off the table, as are
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a nato pull back from eastern europe and exclusion. and, and withdrawal of u. s. nuclear weapons from europe. as you said, this u. s. russia relation is what it's all about in the end. so what objective could put in actually still be pursuing here? and if deterrence doesn't work, what economic sanctions would convince him to stand out? well, 1st of all, where is he up to? and i think it's not just ukraine, but it is. it is more to say about the security arrangements in europe since 30 years. it is precisely about, and you mentioned the, the question of the withdrawal of american nuclear weapons from europe. i mean, there are not that many nuclear weapons left there, just a few bombs in germany and been alex holland, italy, and turkey. so that is very few and in fact, what putin is intending by demanding the withdrawal of these weapons is much more.
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he talks about control in europe, it's about had gemini, as he sees it in american hegemony, which he would like to inherit. and so this is the big picture. the other big picture is we see lots of maneuvers, military exercises by russia undertaken at this point in time all over the world. and so it indicates this global challenge, and i think this actually will linger on and the you asked me about the economic and the possible sanctions again, against that, it very much depends on what to teen does in this struggle. i don't know whether he really wants to invade ukraine or just the small incursion as biden just said in the slip of the tongue. i, i think that he has putin has lots of options on the table. and the response of the west has to be adequate and it will be economic jessica,
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to potential economic sanctions that could be applied. but both have provoked to german equivocation. one is the so called nuclear option, excluding russia from the swift payment transfer system, which essentially would make it very hard for russia to get those oil gas revenues on which it depends. and secondly, putting on hold, putting on ice the north stream to gas pipeline, from russia to germany, that essentially would allow gas shipments to go around ukraine, depriving ukraine of revenues on both points. german politicians have equivocated and indicated that this might not be the way to go. what he said in that. and we are putting german economic interests in front of our international obligations. in the case of swift, of course, this nuclear option sanction would be a huge deterrence to russia and vladimir putin at this time. but germany is considering the billions of euros in business interests that germany has in russia
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. and this would also make it difficult for german companies and businesses to function. i'm secondly, of course, on energy and europe. in general, i about 30 percent of, of our gas comes from russia in germany, depending on the year or it can be upwards of 50 percent. we have created for ourselves over the last 20 years, a huge energy dependency on russia. on top of that, nordstrom too was of course, a pet project of the s p d, the party of current chancellor shorts and to, to withdraw on nordstrom to would have domestic political implications for the s p d. in shorts, we have puts our domestic debates and our economic interests ahead of european united security policy. nonetheless, a chance a shots has said north street to might be on the table if things go down hill, alexander, if it were to be halted the pipeline. do you think that would have an influence on
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put in? no, no, because sir, we, we have to understand that russia is the diverting its energy flows to asia and asia, china. but not only china, india you're on other big countries in asia will never support west on sanctions, financial sanctions against russia and contrary, they will help russia to overcome this barriers or this pressure from the west. and this is the danger which i see that we will have at the end in the world politics, 2 blocks and asia block, which will become b. radicalized together with china against the west, and us who will do everything to the tool tool to def. and our cells are also active listening to prolong gatos, it was neat to extension, which will only lead to a new cold war. and i don't want to have it. let me jump here with one really quick, last question that goes back to our title, and essentially, whether germany's letting its allies down putin is known to be
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a masterful tactician. apparently he's concluded that this is a very opportune moment because of divisions in europe. and in the transatlantic relationship, secretary of state blank, and it's saying there's no daylight between the us and its allies. what do you think? well, putin believe in, i agree with you that put you in as a master. in fact, think some spanish will, he believe blanket he believes by he wants talks with id, he will say false was fine with shots is mackerel, and i think that will be okay. let's hope so. that's an optimistic and point. thank you very much to all of you for being with us. thanks to you for tuning in. see you soon. a with
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