Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) wants to avoid a conflict between NATO and Russia. “Decisiveness and prudence” is the rule of the day.
In the controversy over the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, the traffic light government has repeatedly been accused of hesitation and timidity. With this in mind, Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil defended the actions of the federal government with Markus Lanz on Thursday evening:
Germany’s way is to support Ukraine. At the same time, the German government must prevent a conflict between NATO and Russia, as this “will pose a nuclear risk in conflict.”
Heil warns of ‘sleepwalking path’
“That would be the way sleepwalkers couldn’t walk,” Heil says. That’s why the federal government did not bow to NATO requests for a no-fly zone in Ukraine, for example. Heil clarified the traffic light route:
Markus Lanz later questioned the determination of the traffic light government. He confronted Heil with the fact that the federal government had repeatedly implied that it would not deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, and eventually made a U-turn with Gepard tanks. Heil replied: “Olaf Scholz never mentioned the word ‘heavy weapons’.”
What is a heavy weapon anyway?
Heil explained that the fact that “we have provided and continue to provide military capabilities for Ukraine’s self-defense” is more different. He asked what the heavy weapon really was. He didn’t give a concrete answer. It is true that Cheetah tanks are now supplied for air defense. At the same time, your salvation question was:
“Is this a ‘heavy weapon’? It’s certainly a dangerous weapon. But this discussion surrounding the term ‘heavy weapon’ is totally misleading us.” Because: “We deliver what is responsible and what we can deliver.”
Heil: Putin must be weakened
Also, Hubertus Heil broke a spear for the international cooperation capability of traffic lights. The federal government remains committed to working in concert with its partners in both Europe and NATO. Goal:
“It’s about weakening Putin’s Russia, the Kremlin (…) more than it can weaken us, (…) NATO’s strength, (…) our readiness not to let the alliance lose an inch. For NATO to attack.” As Heil emphasized in the conclusion, it was “a sign of strength, not fear.”
Criticism of Germany’s Russia policy from Golineh Atai
ZDF reporter was also a guest of the program. For several years he reported from Russia for the ARD and observed how the country became more and more radical under Putin. “People didn’t want to see what internal developments were taking place in Russia,” he criticized, referring to Germany.
“There were mistakes and we came back too late,” Heil replied, also naming Nord Stream 2. At the same time, he made it clear that Russia’s aggressive imperialism was underestimated not only in Germany but also in many parts of Europe.
Discussion about Gerhard Schroeder
After this statement, Atai said, “Heil Bey, is it enough to say ‘we made a mistake’?” he asked. He wanted a re-evaluation of what happened in the German-Russian policy in recent years. He cited former prime minister and Gazprom lobbyist Gerhard Schroeder as an example. Atai criticized the fact that Schroeder was still part of the SPD, but was also consulted on civil society processes in Russia until shortly before the war.
Heil said Schroeder had long been isolated in the SPD, describing such requests as too simplistic “from a break”.
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