Germany made ‘fantastic admission’ – Lavrov
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has described as “fantastic” a recent comment by his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, about Berlin’s commitment to backing Kiev. The German official said on Wednesday that her country’s government would stand by Ukraine regardless of what German voters think about it.
On Thursday, Lavrov delivered a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations marking the start of the academic year. In it, he said that many Western politicians are in the grip of a “Russophobic obsession.”
As a case in point, the minister cited Baerbock’s remark, which she made in Prague on Wednesday.
According to Lavrov, what the German official said effectively boiled down to the following: “Yes, our citizens are suffering but they will have to suffer more because we will be supporting Ukraine no matter what.”
The Russian foreign minister described Baerbock’s statement as a “fantastic admission.”
Speaking at a conference named ‘Democracy’s Clear and Present Danger: How Do We Respond?’ organized by the NGO Forum 2000, the top German diplomat said: “If I give the promise to people in Ukraine – ‘We stand with you, as long as you need us’ – then I want to deliver. No matter what my German voters think, but I want to deliver to the people of Ukraine.”
Baerbock acknowledged that dissatisfaction with the German government among the country’s population would likely increase come winter.
She did go on to explain that Berlin would not remain completely deaf to its citizens, though, promising “social measures” for those who “cannot pay [the] energy prices.”
However, the official made it clear that the “sanctions [against Russia] will stay also in winter time, even if it gets really tough for politicians.”
Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in late February, and in light of the Western sanctions against Moscow that followed, energy prices in Europe have climbed to historic highs. This has pushed inflation up significantly across the EU, and in Germany in particular. On Wednesday, gas prices surged again on the spot market after the operator of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline announced the beginning of a three-day shutdown for maintenance.