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Estonian ex-president blasts German 'mercantile duplicity, posturing and dithering' over Ukraine war

18.08.2022 01:00
Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has criticised Germany's "mercantile duplicity, posturing and dithering" over Russia's war in Ukraine, claiming that Berlin has "lost any possibility of being taken seriously by the rest of Europe."
Olaf Scholz

In a series of Twitter posts, Ilves said that "Germany’s behavior since even before the Ukraine war has been to do as little as possible, promise as little as possible and delay what it’s promised as long as possible."

He slammed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for refusing to back growing calls for a Europe-wide ban on issuing tourist visas to Russians, Poland's tysol.pl website reported.

His criticism came as some northern European countries were acting unilaterally to bring in their own visa restrictions, according to a report by the euronews.com service.

Ilves said on Tuesday: "On the tourist visa issue, with little logic — dissidents don’t need a tourist visa to get to Europe. EU gives out visas on humanitarian grounds — Scholz has rejected the ban."

He argued: "This is especially true given that Scholz knows full well the Russians already renounced the EU-RU Visa Facilitation Agreement on April 4.

"How to make sense of this behavior? Rather than subscribe to paranoid Molotov-Ribbentrop theories (though Schröder’s and the Ostausschuss’ slimy record might make you believe in them).

"Rather, I think Germany is trying to position itself as an 'honest broker' — to show Russia it’s not a 'crazy Russopohobic East European' or a 'war-mongering Ami,' in the hope that Russia will take it seriously and give Germany future benefits.

"Perhaps as a ploy for more gas this might work, but Germany has, thanks to its both long term and short term self-interest, mercantile duplicity, posturing and dithering lost any possibility of being taken seriously by the rest of Europe.

"Ever since Kohl favored Russia over the Zwischenländer who suffered most from Germany in WW2 (first and foremost Poland and Ukraine), Germany’s policy has been to accomodate — and gain from — Russia first, deal with others later.

"But now, 18(25) years since the EU and NATO enlarged, Germany is no longer the center of Europe. Its warnings of 'moral hazard' regarding Greece have redounded. Now it's the hazard. The Franco/German motor has turned out to be as credible as VW’s Diesel exhaust numbers.

"Nothing will deter Germany’s self-appointed, self-interested quest to be that broker. But it will broker with Russia alone. The rest of us will not play along."

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in April held talks with Germany's Scholz in Berlin to explore ways to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty amid Russia's invasion, according to a report at the time.

Morawiecki was cited as saying after the talks that Scholz shared "the conviction that Ukraine must win this war" and that many leaders were "realising the huge errors and risks that underlay previous policies."


Source: tysol.pleuronews.com