Merkel has ‘no regrets’ about policy legacy with Russia
Former German chancellor Angela Merkel – Photo: REUTERS
In her first major interview since leaving office six months ago, Merkel insisted she was not naive in her relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Diplomacy is not wrong just because it doesn’t work,” the 67-year-old politician said in an interview that aired on the Phoenix news channel.
Merkel reiterated her support for economic sanctions against Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea and German-French efforts to maintain the peace process under the Minsk agreement for Ukraine.
“I don’t have to blame myself for not trying hard enough. I don’t see that I have to say ‘it was wrong’ and that’s why I have no regrets,” she stressed.
The veteran German leader has regularly met with President Putin during his 16 years in power. Merkel favors a trade-based approach to Moscow.
In her latest interview, Ms. Merkel said the “special military operation” in Ukraine marked a major “turning point”.
Although she opposed Putin’s actions, she rejected criticism that she was wrong to prevent Ukraine from joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2008. She argued that Kiev was not ready at the time and She wants to avoid “further escalation” with Putin, who is opposed to NATO’s eastward expansion.
Merkel also stressed that the 2014-2015 Minsk agreements were seen as the best option to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine at the time.
According to Merkel, the peace process has “brought peace” giving Ukraine another seven years to develop.
Ms. Merkel said she had “the highest respect” for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the fighting efforts of Ukrainian forces.
However, she insists that she cannot avoid working with Putin because Russia, like China, is too big to ignore.
“We must find a way to coexist in spite of all our differences,” the former chancellor said.
at Blogtuan.info – Source: tuoitre.vn – Read the original article here