Merkel speaks of helplessness at the end of the term: “Putin was no longer ready for summits” – Berlin

According to her own words, former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) tried in vain last year to organize negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the European Security Code. Putin was no longer willing to hold a summit in the so-called Norman format with representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the CDU politician said.

“On the one hand, Putin was no longer ready for the Normandy-style summit,” Merkel told the German news network (Saturday edition). “On the other hand, I have not been able to create an additional European-Russian discussion format on the European Security Order in addition to the Normandy format.”

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Since 2014, the Norman format has been a forum for talks between Russia and Ukraine, mediated by Germany and France. The most important success of the negotiations was the 2015 Minsk Agreement on a peace settlement in Ukraine, which was not implemented in the following years.

“Various ineffective attempts in the last year”

In an interview, Merkel admitted her helplessness at the end of her term: “It was clear that I would not be in office for long,” she said. “So I simply have to say that the various attempts over the past year have had no effect.”

Regarding whether Putin waited for his attack on Ukraine until he was no longer in office, Merkel said: “My departure could have been beneficial, such as the elections in France, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the stagnation of Minsk’s implementation. Agreement.”

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Merkel did not rule out that she could later be a mediator in the conflict. When asked if it would be available, she replied: “This question is not being asked at the moment.”

As for the European security system, the former head of government emphasized that the Cold War was not over. Putin must be taken seriously. His brutal attack on Ukraine is a turning point in European post-war history, which will have consequences for many years.

Merkel supported the course of her successor Olaf Scholz (SPD). “Therefore, I think it is right that the West seeks the existence of Ukraine without becoming part of a direct military conflict,” she said.

What are her retirement plans?

After 16 years of chancellery, Merkel wants to get to know West Germany better in her new phase of life. “I was seldom in the old federal states,” she said. “I’ve never been to Loreley or the Moselle loop or alone at Trier Cathedral or Speyer Cathedral,” added Merkel, who grew up in East Germany.
So far, she has done very little that many people like to take for granted, Merkel said. “I am now going to a part of my life that was previously denied to me. Like a man. ”

Your political time of over 30 years has been a great honor. Merkel stressed that she would write a book about this and about her childhood and youth in the GDR with Beate Baumann, her longtime head of the office. (AFP, DPA)

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