German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told CNN that the responsibility for ending the war in Ukraine rests firmly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“It’s in Putin’s hands. It was he who started the war for no reason. It is now his responsibility to end the war,” Baerbock told CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview.
“The brutal reality is that Putin himself chose…to wage a war against civilians and to wage a war against the European peace order,” she said.
Germany has approved the delivery of 56 Pbv 501 type battle tanks to Ukraine, a spokesman for the German Defense Ministry announced on Friday. Germany’s increased defense spending marked a historic turning point in the country’s foreign policy.
Baerbock said that Germany is offering increased military assistance to the Ukrainian government because “we are in a situation where NATO is standing there in solidarity with Ukraine and on the other hand there is Russia who has made it clear that there were no red lines for herself.”
“We are supporting Germany with weapons that we have not made in the past because reality has changed so abruptly,” she said.
“We had to change our course in Germany by 180 degrees because Ukraine needed our military support; we tried everything to avoid this war, but it was Putin’s decision to do the opposite and that’s why now we also deliver arms to Ukraine,” she said.
The foreign minister said the sanctions had been effective in leaving Putin “totally isolated”, but said there were still strong energy ties between Russia and Europe that needed to be severed. “The question we raise about fossil fuels, oil and energy, Europe is linked to Russia. Therefore, we are working every day to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels on Russia,” she told CNN.
Asked by Amanpour what Putin is saying in the diplomatic talks, Baerbock said the Russian president “entered this war with a false narrative, with lies. … This erroneous account he told the world is obviously also something he himself believes.
“When my chancellor, when others like the president of France talk to Putin, obviously they tell him that he started this war with lies, that he broke with international law… but he doesn’t obviously not listening to my Chancellor, and other international partners,” she said.
“The few people left behind or around him who can actually talk to him dare not tell him the truth about the reality in Ukraine, that his troops are not having as much success as they obviously thought they were in the past,” she added. added.