How the big beasts got it wrong
Leading German politicians are trying to wash their hands of responsibility for Russia's aggression in eastern Europe.
The “big beasts” of German politics during the Merkel era have given emotional speeches and interviews in recent weeks decrying Vladmir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
What they would rather that we forget: many of them spent years seeking to undermine western sanctions against Moscow over its 2014 annexation of Crimea and its arming of separatists in the Donbas.
Here’s a look at some of the key German actors, what they said at the time, and what they are saying now.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD)
Steinmeier, now serving his second term as President of German, was Foreign Minister from 2013 to 2017. In this role he repeatedly made clear that he was sceptical about using sanctions to punish Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The SPD man tried to put the brakes on EU sanctions from the very beginning.
In November 2014, when Donbas separatists broke the terms of the first Minsk Deal by announcing their own elections, Steinmeier said he opposed …
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The German Review to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.