Germany calls on Putin to 'untie noose'
Russian President Vladimir Putin should “untie the noose around Ukraine” and instead focus on acts of peace, newly re-elected German head of state Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday.
Speaking to the Bundestag, after being re-elected for a second five-year term as president, Steinmeier described the current situation in Europe as “a time of concern for peace.”
In his address, which was later published in German publication RND, the leader called on Putin to join him and other Western leaders in the search for the key to security in Europe.
“Peace cannot be taken for granted. It must be worked for again and again, through dialogue, but also, where necessary, with clarity, deterrence and determination. All this is needed now,” he said.
The German president fleshed-out his non-violence plea to Putin with a reminder that 2025 will be the 50th anniversary of the agreement of the Helsinki Accords, an agreement signed by 35 states, including Germany, the USSR and the US. The declaration was aimed at aiding the detente between East and West during the height of the Cold War.
“May this anniversary not be the occasion on which we in East and West have to admit the failure of efforts to achieve lasting peace in Europe,” said the President, calling instead for an updated path to peace that would be mutually beneficial for both sides.
While he may have been extending an olive branch, Steinmeier informed parliament that Germany pins “responsibility” for the rising threat of war in Eastern Europe on Russia. The danger of the Kremlin’s reported deployment of over 100,000 troops to the border “cannot be disputed,” Steinmeier declared, calling the move “a threat to Ukraine.”
Steinmeier’s allegation against Moscow is just the latest in a plethora of Western accusations of Russian warmongering. Last Friday, several American publications reported that an invasion of Ukraine could begin “at any time,” after Washington claimed it had intercepted intelligence from Russian central command. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied it has any intention of invading.