Chancellor Olaf Scholz has accused the Russian leader of distorting the history of the Ukraine conflict
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of grossly misrepresenting the situation in Ukraine, saying the Kremlin leader told an “absurd story” about the conflict’s origin during his sit-down with Tucker Carlson.
Speaking during a visit to Washington, DC on Friday, Scholz weighed in on Putin’s recent interview with the former Fox host, arguing it only “mocks what real actions have been done by Russia in Ukraine” and presented a “completely absurd story about the cause of this war.”
“There is a very clear cause, that is the desire of the president of Russia to annex part of Ukraine. And all the stories that are told about it do not change the fact that that is exactly the purpose of his imperialist efforts,” the chancellor added.
Scholz went on to say that the fighting could “end at any time,” but not “by Ukraine capitulating,” and that “conditions for a peaceful solution” must be created as soon as possible.
The conversation published on Thursday was the first sit-down between a US media personality and the Russian leader since Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February. Putin’s interview with Carlson went on for more than two hours and covered a wide range of topics, with a focus on the ongoing hostilities.
Putin offered a lengthy review of the centuries of shared history between Russia and Ukraine, arguing that Western powers had used Ukraine to antagonize Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. He pointed to NATO’s expansion eastward, the US-led bloc’s accession talks with Ukraine, as well as Western support for Kiev’s 2014 Euromaidan coup, which he deemed a “colossal mistake.”
The Russian leader said that Moscow would never have become involved were it not for the “bloody developments of Maidan.” The crisis only intensified after Kiev sent troops to quell the separatist movement launched by the Russian-speakers in the Donbass, who – along with residents in Crimea – had opposed the coup.
”They launched a large-scale military operation, then another one… All this against the background of military development of this territory and the opening of NATO’s doors. How could we not express concern over what was happening?” Putin continued.
Asked how the conflict might be brought to an end, Putin said fighting would quickly cease if Washington and its allies halted arms shipments to Ukrainian forces, also noting that Moscow is ready for “dialogue” toward a peaceful settlement.
February 10, 2024 at 09:12AM