German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned of the serious, worldwide consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine.
“We must ensure that this war comes to an end quickly,” the Social Democrat (SPD) politician said in the western German city of Essen on Saturday.
With the attack on the neighbouring country, Russian President Vladimir Putin is pursuing “territorial claims that stem from the imperialist visions of earlier centuries.”
Putin is not only threatening Ukraine, he said.
“He is not only destroying human lives, roads, infrastructure, houses, hospitals there. He is also destroying the future of Russia. That is President Putin’s big, big mistake,” Scholz stressed at the SPD’s campaign launch for the North Rhine Westphalia state elections on May 15.
Putin miscalculated with his war, the German chancellor said, referring to the fierce resistance of the people in Ukraine and the great unity of the democratic world.
“Because all the plans, all the schemes that the Russian president has set in motion have come to nothing. He did not expect Ukraine to defend itself. He believed that there would be people standing there waving flags and applauding. That is not the case. Everyone is defending themselves,” said Scholz.
After a good five weeks, one can see the consequences “that this war has already caused, not only in Ukraine and Russia, but worldwide,” Scholz said.
“All the difficulties that the world economy is facing today, which were already great enough because of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic and social effects, are now becoming even greater because of this war.
“I say: it is a destruction of the future, far beyond Russia and Ukraine.”
At the same time, Scholz praised the great cohesion of the West. “There is a great unity of democratic states in the world, of the European Union, of NATO, of our defence alliance. We reacted quickly together and imposed the sanctions to stop this war. These measures are effective,” Scholz emphasised.
“(We want to) do everything to ensure that we once again have a European peace order in which the principles apply for which (German SPD statesmen) Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt and Egon Bahr and Johannes Rau fought so hard – namely that borders are inviolable in Europe, that no war is waged because people want more land.”