Merkel: I Stand in Solidarity with Ukraine and Support its Right to Self-Defense
In her first public speech in about half a year, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Russia's attack on Ukraine as a "deep turning point".
She said she did not want to make assessments as a former chancellor, but Russia's invasion of its neighboring country was a gross violation of international law in European history since the end of World War II.
For the first time, Angela Merkel has made a public comment on what is happening in Ukraine.
"I stand in solidarity with Russia-invaded Ukraine and support its right to self-defense."
She emphasized that she supported all the efforts of the German government, the EU, the United States, NATO, the G-7 and the United Nations "to end this barbaric aggression by Russia".
Merkel said no one could yet make a serious assessment of the consequences of the war. However, they will be significant - especially for Ukrainians, Tagesschau quoted her.
The former German chancellor mentioned violations of the human rights of the population and gave the example of the killings and violence against civilians in Bucha and Irpin.
A small but bright ray of hope "in this endless sadness" is the huge support for Ukrainians from many neighboring countries such as Poland and Moldova, stressed the former chancellor.
In the current situation, she said, EU unity was crucial.
"We must never take peace and freedom for granted," Merkel said.
Next week, Merkel will be present again in German political life, the publication said. She is expected to take part in a discussion in Berlin on June 7, which is likely to focus much more on Russia and Germany's relations with President Vladimir Putin and possible misconceptions during the years she was chancellor. Merkel has not yet commented on her own mistakes.
Other former high-ranking politicians, such as current Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was foreign minister in Merkel's cabinet for many years, have publicly acknowledged mistakes in Russian politics. "I made a mistake," the SPD politician said publicly.
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