In an interview with DW, long-time advisor to former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and now the head of the Munich Security Conference Christoph Heusgen said that Germany should support Ukraine in its attempts to return the annexed Crimea.
“Crimea is definitely a part of Ukraine, and Ukraine has every right to regain and return its territory. Therefore, the decision should be made by Ukraine,” Heusgen said.
He reminded that Germany tried to resolve diplomatically, in particular through the Minsk agreements, “the problems that we had with Russia during its first invasion” of Ukraine in 2014.
“Now Russia has pushed all these efforts to the background – Russia is behaving very aggressively, Russia is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Just look at Mariupol, how they destroyed it! They destroyed it the same way they destroyed Grozny,” emphasized Geusgen.
“So we must provide comprehensive support to the Ukrainians, and if Ukraine can return Crimea, it must be supported,” the head of the Munich Security Conference concluded.
The international community imposed sanctions against Russia after it occupied Crimea in 2014. However, diplomatic and economic relations with Russia continued. After Russia’s full-blown war against Ukraine, Germany started admitting that it was too soft on Russia.
Back in September, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that Germany’s reaction to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 should have been stronger.
“I want to say absolutely unequivocally that, probably, at least in retrospect, it would have been quite correct to react more harshly to the annexation of Crimea,” the German chancellor said in the Bundeswehr on 17 September.
According to him, in such a case, the idea of such an attack on Ukraine, perhaps, “would not have captured the thoughts of President Vladimir Putin so much.”
German Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann recently admitted that Germany’s adherence to the Nordstream 2 pipeline contributed to the outbreak of war.
Germany's adherence to the Northstream 2 pipeline after Russia's annexation of Crimea was its contribution to the outbreak of war, 🇩🇪Federal Minister of Justice @MarcoBuschmann tells at #G7Justice. https://t.co/KnM1zd39X6
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) November 29, 2022
And after visiting Ukraine and spending time in a bomb shelter during a Russian missile attack, German President Steinmeier announced a new era of relations with Russia and the world. This marked a groundbreaking change of Germany’s Russia policy, which hitherto had focused on dialogue and economic cooperation.