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18 Feb, 2023 20:11

Putin must turn ‘360 degrees’ – German FM

Russia’s former president has ridiculed Annalena Baerbock’s grasp of geometry
Putin must turn ‘360 degrees’ – German FM

Russian President Vladimir Putin must “change by 360 degrees” in order for Ukraine to be safe, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the Munich Security Conference. In other words, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev pointed out, he must continue doing exactly what he is doing.

Appearing alongside American Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba on Saturday, Baerbock was asked whether there is “any chance of Ukraine being safe in the long term” if Putin remains in office.

“If he doesn’t change by 360 degrees, no,” the German FM replied.

“It’s hilarious that Europe is run by such ignorant people,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wrote on social media. “There is no doubt, connoisseur of geometry, that it will be so,” he mocked. “We are holding our ground.”

Baerbock, Blinken, and Kuleba spoke at a panel entitled ‘Visions for Ukraine,’ in which the three attempted to sketch out an image of what the country might look like post-conflict. All three agreed that to get there, Russia must unconditionally withdraw from territory claimed by Kiev, which includes the Russian region of Crimea and the four formerly Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia in September.

Echoing previous statements from Kiev, Kuleba said that a “long vision” of victory for Ukraine involves not only a Russian withdrawal, but “compensations for the damage inflicted, accountability for perpetrators of crimes, and most importantly, Russia must change.”

“As long as Putin is in power, we will be in trouble,” he claimed, adding that his removal or retirement would lead to “a period of opportunity for all of us.”

Ukraine’s Western backers are not unanimous on the topic of regime change. While US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland – who largely orchestrated the pro-Western coup in Kiev in 2014 – has explicitly called for this outcome, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that such an approach is doomed to fail.

“When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? Who is your leader? How to implement it? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” he told the Munich conference.