Proximity to the Kremlin: Scholz and the SPD are stuck in a Russian traffic jam

In the debate on the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his Social Democrats are increasingly under pressure.

On the one hand, numerous calls for faster and more decisive military support from the federal government to the Ukrainian army were again made in Kyiv and Berlin at Easter. On the other hand, the Opposition Union in particular has intensified its criticism of the Social Democrats and their pro-Russia policies in recent years.

From left to right: Social Democrats Sigmar Gabriel, Olaf Scholz and Gerhard Schröder

CDU member of the Bundestag and defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter called on the SPD to set up an “internal committee of inquiry” to examine whether “personal ties to Russia have arisen in the past which now prevent the federal government from make free decisions in the The war in Ukraine can”.

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Photo by author Susanne Gaschke - WELT

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Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD)

“Above all, the interdependencies between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his predecessor Gerhard Schröder and ex-Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel must be examined,” Kiesewetter WELT said. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil, a longtime former employee of Schröder’s constituency office, must also “show his colors”.

In particular, it must be about the ties between the SPD politicians and Russia in the construction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. It is good that a commission of inquiry is set up in the Land parliament of Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania. “But the party also needs to work on the allegations nationally.”

Manuela Schwesig’s proximity to Russia

For its part, the Union will examine “to what extent the Chancellery has lost sight of the threat situation on Nord Stream 2, especially since 2014”, said Kiesewetter.

“So Schwesig can’t stay in power”

CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen previously suggested that Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) resign. “If the circumstances recently described in the media are true, then Ms. Schwesig cannot remain in office; that’s completely out of the question,” Röttgen told Editorial Network Germany. Schwesig is accused of advancing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline by creating a bogus environmental foundation and thereby allowing himself to be exploited for the benefit of Russia.

Prime Minister Schwesig asked to resign

At the beginning of the year, an environmental foundation to support Nord Stream 2 was set up in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The documents should show that Gazprom, as the majority owner, was directly involved in the foundation. Country leader Schwesig rejects the allegations, now there are the first demands for resignation.

Source: WORLD / Jonas Feldt

The Greens, the federal coalition partner of the SPD, also make serious allegations against the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. This disregards the rights of the state parliament and tries to protect itself by withholding information. Green Party MP Hannes Damm said Schwesig’s behavior “endangers democracy”.

The Social Democrats and Scholz also came under pressure from their own traffic light coalition over the long weekend. Marie-Agnes Strack Zimmermann (FDP), Chair of the Bundestag Defense Committee, and Anton Hofreiter (Greens), Chair of the Europe Committee, renewed their call for more speed in arms deliveries to Ukraine .

Strack Zimmermann, Hofreiter, Roth

Kombo Ukraine News new

According to Strack-Zimmermann, it is positive that Scholz has announced its intention to make around one billion euros available to Ukraine for the purchase of arms. “But above all it must be clarified immediately what heavy weapons the Chancellor is thinking about, to what extent this has been coordinated with the Ukrainian government and when the weapons will be delivered. Time is running out in Ukraine, ”said politician FDP WELT.

Hofreiter made a similar statement. “The increase in military aid is good and right,” he told the “Rheinische Post”. “But this cannot replace the rapid delivery of heavy weapons.”

“Every hour counts”

From the point of view of the deputy leader of the Union parliamentary group, Johann Wadephul (CDU), the increase in military aid is “just a bad diversionary tactic”. Ukraine is not short of money. “The central question is: does Germany allow the export of heavy weapons? Olaf Scholz must now show his colors and “deliver” in the truest sense of the word. It’s about every hour,” Wadephul said.

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Chancellor Scholz in the Bundeswehr

Given the impending Russian offensive, the Chancellor was “partly responsible for Ukraine’s defenselessness”. Moreover, it is still unclear whether the Bundeswehr cannot supply even more weapons from its own stocks.”

On Easter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again pressed for a rapid delivery of heavy weapons. “Those who have the arms and ammunition we need and who are withholding their help should know that the fate of this battle also depends on them. The fate of people who can be saved,” Zelenskyy said.

“If the port city falls, it will also be the end of the peace talks with Russia”

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the fall of the fiercely contested port city of Mariupol would signal the end of talks with Russia. In addition to the defending Ukrainian troops, tens of thousands of civilians are trapped in the besieged port city.

Source: WORLD / Stefan Wittmann

Representatives of the SPD, on the other hand, defended Chancellor Scholz’s cautious policy. Former Minister of Economy and Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) stressed in the “Spiegel” that it was right that the Federal Government could only deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine in coordination with the states -United.

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SPD leader Saskia Esken stressed in the Twitter news service at least that his party can give in to pressure from other parliamentary groups. “We have repeatedly adapted our arms deliveries to changing situations. And we will continue to do so. »

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