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30 Jan, 2022 12:19

Make Ukraine 'neutral' – German MP

MP Klaus Ernst argues that Ukrainian neutrality is one way to defuse current tensions in Europe
Make Ukraine 'neutral' – German MP

Left-wing German MP Klaus Ernst argued that guarantees of Ukraine not joining the US-led military bloc would help resolve the current tensions between the West and Russia.

“To defuse the situation in the short term, the West must assure Russia that Ukraine will not be admitted to NATO,” Ernst, a veteran lawmaker and former leader of the Left party, told RND on Friday. “It would be best if Ukraine was given a status like Finland, a status of neutrality.”

Klaus was referring to Finland’s longstanding tradition of not formally allying itself with military blocs. The Nordic country is not a NATO member and maintained neutrality during the Cold War.

“Russia wants to secure its borders and not have NATO troops on its doorstep,” Ernst said, adding that the West should have an understanding of Moscow’s position in the current standoff regarding Ukraine and wider security in Europe.

Ernst’s comments came after German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned Moscow of “massive consequences,” potentially including sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, if Russian troops attack Ukraine. Western countries have been accusing Russia of amassing military forces with the intent of invading its neighbor, which Russia denies.

Ernst also spoke about the tensions in eastern Ukraine, where low-level fighting continues despite the 2014-15 ceasefire agreements between Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. 

“Ukraine has bought combat drones from Turkey and can now feel emboldened to use them in the disputed territories, contrary to the Minsk agreements.” Kiev released a video of its Bayraktar TB2 drone carrying out an airstrike in October 2021.