It hurts him “almost physically when the well-known representatives of this country do not understand the reasons and objectives of Russia’s war against Ukraine or pretend not to understand them,” said the former ambassador of Ukraine and the country’s foreign minister. Pavlo Klimkin, for his part, reacted with misunderstanding to an open letter that well-known German artists, intellectuals and scientists published over the weekend.
Under the title “De-escalation now! Prioritizing the protection of the population” they ask Chancellor Olaf Scholz to replace “the prevailing war logic with a courageous peace logic” “and to create a new European and global peace architecture that includes Russia and China “. They condemn “Russia’s war in Ukraine, which cannot be justified by anything”, but want to “warn against an uncontrollable expansion of the war with unforeseeable consequences for the whole world” and oppose “the prolongation of the war and the spread of blood with arms deliveries “.
The signatories, including former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Hans Christoph Graf von Sponeck, writer Daniela Dahn, former Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Antje Vollmer, and musician Konstantin Wecker, call for “the federal government, the countries EU and NATO to stop arms supplies to Ukrainian troops and to encourage the government of Kiev to end military resistance against promises of ceasefire negotiations and a political solution.
It is true that “the request ‘Down with my arms!’ mainly on the Russian side “. But “at the same time, further steps must be taken to end the massacre and displacement of people as quickly as possible”. With the handover of arms, “Germany and other NATO countries had effectively become a war party.” Therefore, “Ukraine has also become the battleground for the conflict between NATO and Russia over the security order in Europe, which has been intensifying for years”.
As “bitter as the withdrawal from violence that violates international law” may be, “it is the only realistic and humane alternative to a long and grueling war.” According to the signatories, the first and most important step would be “a halt to all arms deliveries to Ukraine, combined with an immediate ceasefire negotiation”. In order to “halt further massive destruction of cities as quickly as possible and accelerate ceasefire negotiations, the federal government should suggest that the cities currently under siege, the most at risk and so far largely undestroyed, like Kiev, Kharkiv and Odessa, they become ‘defenseless cities’, according to the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention of 1949 ”.
Ambassador Klimkin wrote in a statement to the Berliner Zeitung that he was “concerned that this letter is part of a broader reluctance or inability to understand the essence of contemporary Russia.” Stopping arms shipments would not end the war, Klimkin said, but “would lead to a hybrid war in which there will be no clearly defined rules or parties.” The international humanitarian law mentioned in the letter has been “completely suspended”. Klimkin: “Now we know who has which weapons and who is at war with whom”. Klimkin: “The possible negotiating positions mentioned by the authors of the letter will infuriate almost all Ukrainians who are in daily danger.
Why should Ukraine give up internationally recognized borders? And after what is international law valid? As for whether or not to join defense alliances, this decision should be made exclusively by Ukrainian society and no one else. In fact, this is what the Ukrainians are fighting for: the ability to make their own decisions about their future. “Ukrainians would not lose this war:” For us, this is not a war for territories or conditions, this is a war for our existence as a country and a nation “.
Klimkin writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to “regain influence” with this war. Ukraine should be part of the new Russian sphere of influence, “and if he doesn’t want it, it will simply be destroyed.” Klimkin: “We are seen either as vassals or as enemies who have no right to exist.” Putin manipulates history and supports it with his ideology. Russia has no “justified security interests”: “It has the nuclear potential to defend itself. This is the only thing he has, by the way, because the sorry state of their army is now well known. “
Germany will be “held responsible for thousands of new victims” because it is depriving Ukraine of the weapons it needs. Klimkin on a negotiated solution: “Vladimir Putin will start serious talks only if he can no longer fight. He moves in a completely different system of values, for him human lives have no value, even at Easter he did not want to talk about a ceasefire. That’s why the proposal not to hand over weapons to Ukraine in exchange for a ceasefire and serious talks sounds good in welcoming offices, but they don’t understand Putin and the nature of his regime. ” Times have changed: “Arms deliveries save lives and distorted pacifism kills”.
For his part, the ambassador defines where he sees Germany’s tasks: “Become the leader of Europe now and do everything possible and impossible to stop the Russian war against Ukraine. Become a leader in discussions about a real security system, in which those who break the rules must face total political and economic isolation. “The alternative is to do nothing and allow Russia” to continue killing thousands and thousands of people to kill. “But it also means” the ‘increase in the number of refugees, which already exceeds 10 million, and the further destruction of Ukraine and Europe ”.