UARU
"No need to apologize." Merkel comments on her policy on peace agreements with Russia
8 June, 2022

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her first big interview to ARD since leaving office, reports Tagesschau. She said she did not blame herself for trying to reach a diplomatic solution in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

"Diplomacy is not wrong if it doesn't work. I don't understand why I have to say that it was wrong. I will not apologize for that," she commented on the efforts on the Minsk agreements.

Merkel also said that the policy of the former German government towards Russia failed to create a "security architecture".

"Could we do more to prevent such a tragedy? I tried hard enough. It is a pity that it did not work out," said the former chancellor.

She added that in 2008 she opposed NATO enlargement to the east, including Ukraine and Georgia, because otherwise Putin could do "enormous damage" to Ukraine.

Background

In April, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 14 years had passed since the NATO summit in Bucharest, when "there was a chance to take Ukraine out of the gray area in Eastern Europe, from the gray area between NATO and Russia, from the gray area where Moscow thinks they are allowed everything". He invited Merkel and Sarkozy to visit Bucha and "see what Russia's policy of concessions has led to".

Back then, in 2008, Ukraine could have received a NATO Membership Action Plan. However, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to Welt, blocked the decision. Among the reasons is respect for Russia.

In response to this , former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she thought it was right not to start Ukraine's accession to NATO in 2008.

Merkel's policy

Angela Merkel served as Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. As a representative of Germany, she participated with other leaders of Ukraine, France and Russia in the "Normandy format" negotiations to resolve the conflict in Donbas. The last time the leaders of the "Normandy Four" met was in December 2019 in Paris.

The next meeting was announced in the spring of 2020, but due to lockdown everything was canceled. Despite the fact that the leaders of the countries had not met for more than a year, from time to time videoconferences were held at the level of advisers. Following a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, negotiations in this format were suspended.

The agreements  reached by the participants in the settlement of the situation in Donbas in the "Normandy format" were called the Minsk Protocol (agreements).