Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Schroeder slams Merkel’s Russia policy

Former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has lashed out at his successor, Angela Merkel over her policies towards Russia, saying he understands Moscow’s foreign policy concerns.
Schroeder made the remarks in an interview with the German daily Der Spiegel published on Saturday.

The former chancellor who ruled Germany from 1998-2005 said he fully recognizes Moscow’s concerns as since the Eastern European defense alliance, the Warsaw Pact, ceased to exist with the end of the Soviet Union, the Western military alliance “NATO not only survived, but also has extensively expanded to the East.”

Schroeder added that he sees no grounds to fear a possible Russian threat in Eastern Europe and Russia would not “consider placing in question the territorial integrity of Poland or the Baltic states.”
In addition, Schroeder insisted that attempts by the United States and the European Union (EU) to internationally isolate Russia over the crisis in Ukraine are “wrong,” arguing, “It is during a crisis that dialogue should be maintained.”

Western governments, including Germany have imposed sanctions on Russia, accusing Moscow of interfering in neighboring Ukraine. However, the Kremlin denies the accusation.

According to Schroeder, Berlin should have prevented the European Commission (EC) from “holding talks on Ukraine’s association with the EU solely with Kiev without involvement of Moscow.”

A political crisis erupted in Ukraine in November 2013 when the country’s then president, Viktor Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow.

The move sparked pro-EU protests, with its center in Kiev’s Maidan Square, and in February 2014, Yanukovych was ousted by Western-backed groups. The ouster triggered in its turn pro-Russian protests in the country’s southern and eastern regions.

Complete story at - PressTV-Schroeder slams Merkel’s Russia policy

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