Federal Chancellor: “Putin’s war marks a turning point”
In his government statement, Federal Chancellor Scholz called for international efforts to end Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “We will not rest until peace in Europe is secured,” the Federal Chancellor stressed. He said he was sure this would succeed – together with Germany’s partners and allies. Scholz presented a five-point plan for this purpose, including a special fund for the Federal Armed Forces.
In his government statement to the Bundestag on Sunday, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz once again condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. The mandate for action was now to “divert Putin from the path of war”, said Scholz. The Federal Chancellor justified the German government’s decision to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine: “No other response to Putin’s aggression was possible.”
Violence can never be a political instrument
At the same time, he spoke of a “turning point” for Germany and the world order. The question was “whether we have it in us to keep warmongers like Putin in check,” he said, adding that Germany had given its response. The sanctions against Russia had been further tightened, and now also included the exclusion of important Russian banks from the banking communication network SWIFT.
Collective defence obligation within NATO
At the same time, Germany would “stand unconditionally by its collective defence obligation within NATO” and would invest significantly more than before in powerful, cutting-edge and progressive Federal Armed Forces. Scholz said in the Bundestag that the 2022 federal budget would include a one-off fund. He added: “We will now – year after year – invest more than two percent of our gross domestic product in our defence. The goal is to ensure powerful, cutting-edge, progressive Federal Armed Forces that can be relied upon to protect us,” said Scholz.
Development of renewable energies
The Federal Chancellor promised to continue to ensure a secure energy supply for our country. To this end, the dependence on imports from individual energy suppliers would be reduced and the development of renewable energies would be promoted. “And amidst all this, we will of course not lose sight of the high energy prices,” said the Federal Chancellor. He noted that the Federal Government had put together a relief package that lifted the surcharge under the Renewable Energy Sources Act by the end of this year, increased the commuter tax allowance and provided a heating subsidy for low earners, as well as offering subsidies for families and tax relief measures.
Willing to engage in dialogue – securing peace in Europe
German foreign policy would continue to try to keep the channels of communication with Russia open, but without being naïve, said Scholz, which also meant: “Not talking simply for the sake of talking.” Germany knew what it stood for, he said: a free and open, fair and peaceful Europe, the sovereign equality of states, the inviolability of borders and peaceful conflict resolution. The Federal Chancellor expressed confidence, saying:: “Rarely have we and our partners been so resolved and united.” And he added: What unites us at this time is that we know the strength of free democracies.”