Gunpoint negotiations with Russia impossible say Scholz

Gunpoint negotiations with Russia impossible say Scholz |

Nobody can hold talks if they are being held at gunpoint, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told lawmakers on Thursday, pushing back on calls for peace talks with President Vladimir Putin.

The Social Democrat chancellor addressed the parliament’s plenary to mark the – belated – first anniversary of his now famous “Zeitenwende” (change of times) speech, in which he had promised large-scale defence investments and a turning point for German security policy shortly after the start of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

He insisted that peace on Putin’s terms would be unacceptable: “With a gun pointed at you, you cannot negotiate – unless what you are negotiating is your submission.”

Scholz’s remarks come only a few days after protesters in Berlin, many of them from the far left and far right, had called to halt weapon supplies to Kyiv and push for peace talks with Russia instead.

“Neither do you achieve peace by shouting ‘No more war’ in Berlin and simultaneously calling to end all arms shipments to Ukraine,” he said, adding that “love for peace does not mean submitting to a bigger neighbour.”

If Kyiv stops defending itself, he stressed, “this would not bring peace, but the end of Ukraine.”

Conservative opposition leader Friedrich Merz equally criticised the protest and accused far-right and far-left critics of military support to Ukraine of “mixing up offender and victim.”

“There is only one person who is responsible for this war all by himself. And this man is called Vladimir Putin,” he stressed.

(Julia Dahm |


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