Did Scholz attend Putin’s heavy defeat?
Putin’s biographer Katja Gloger stressed the scope of the announcement. “Ukraine has a European perspective, and thus a political and economic perspective for the future. Vladimir Putin, in fact, cannot interpret this other than a major political defeat,” the former Moscow-US correspondent told Stern. Anne Gellinek, head of Brussels-based ZDF, saw things completely differently because she was connected via a surprisingly weak internet connection.
“To be honest, candidate status initially means nothing,” she said, referring to the principle of unanimity among the 27 EU members. “You have to see if the three of you can convince all the other skeptics.” The ZDF journalist said about the duration of possible accession negotiations: “We are definitely talking about a decade.”
Melnyk: “You can do so much more”
Melnyk therefore makes it clear: “Of course, the prospect is a very strong signal. But this future is still a long way off, but we must survive now. We need heavy weapons for that.” The ambassador here was diplomatic. “It’s not about blaming, it’s about realizing that much more could and should be done after this important visit.”
For example, Germany has over 800 Fuchs transport tanks and 200 to 300 Marder tanks. Even old tanks could make a valuable contribution to regaining the territory occupied by Russia. “We are giving the Germans a historic opportunity to do much more today at the latest.”
“Accession is not a gift to Ukraine”
Melnyk warned against falling into the Kremlin’s psychological war. Putin is currently concentrating the world’s second-largest army in a small area in the Donbas, conquering a few villages there every day. The Russian rulers thus create a feeling of Russia’s invincibility.
“We don’t have to be intimidated,” Melnyk demanded. The ambassador also wanted to make it clear: “Accession to the EU is not a gift to Ukraine. It is something that is also in the Federal Republic’s own interest. No other country has benefited more from the EU’s expansion to the east.”
On the other hand, Scholz received a personal thank you from the ambassador for his decision to supply the state-of-the-art IRIS-T air defense system to Ukraine. “Germany has broken the ice here,” Melnyk confirmed.