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15 Mar, 2024 09:33

Top German government MP calls for end to Ukraine conflict

The head of the Social Democrats in parliament, Rolf Mutzenich, said it is time to stop thinking only in terms of how to “wage a war”
Top German government MP calls for end to Ukraine conflict

It is about time Germany shifted its deliberations toward winding down, freezing and ending the Ukraine conflict, the head of the ruling Social Democratic Party in the German parliament has argued. Rolf Mutzenich also defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s staunch refusal to provide log-range Taurus missiles to Kiev.

Russia has repeatedly stated that it is open to peace negotiations in principle. Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was “ready for serious negotiations” that would be based on today’s “realities” and include “security guarantees for the Russian Federation.”

Speaking in the Bundestag on Thursday after lawmakers voted against arming Ukraine with Taurus rockets, Mutzenich said: “Isn’t it about time we talked not only about how one wages a war, but also thought about how one can freeze and later also end a war.”

He also criticized those in the ruling ‘traffic light’ coalition, which also encompasses the Green and Free Democratic parties, who oppose Chancellor Scholz’s stance on potential Taurus missile deliveries. Mutzenich charged that “all sense of measure is gone within the coalition.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who called on her government on Monday to “intensively consider” the potential delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, shook her head and was visibly displeased when she heard these statements, local media have reported.

The opposition Christian Democratic Party rebuked the head of the SPD bloc in parliament, with one lawmaker dismissing the suggestion of freezing the conflict as “unbelievable.”

Andrey Melnik, who served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin between 2015 and late 2022, also chimed in. The diplomat, known for his controversial remarks and the use of obscene language when addressing German officials, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he has “always said: this guy was and remains the most obnoxious German politician. Forever and ever,” referring to Mutzenich.

Addressing lawmakers on Wednesday, Chancellor Scholz insisted that the delivery of Taurus missiles was “a line that I don’t want to cross as chancellor.” He explained that such a shipment would inevitably require the presence of German military personnel on Ukrainian soil – a development that is “out of the question.”

While Kiev has been asking Berlin to supply the rockets for months, German authorities have stressed that the weapon’s long range would enable it to strike targets deep inside Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, potentially exacerbating the conflict.
The Kremlin has consistently warned that by supplying Ukraine with weapons, the West is merely prolonging the conflict without affecting its outcome.