Baerbock with Markus Lanz: "Putin wants to scare us"

On the ZDF talk show Markus Lanz, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock advocates the rapid delivery of Western weapon systems.

Baerbock with Markus Lanz: "Putin wants to scare us"

On the ZDF talk show Markus Lanz, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock advocates the rapid delivery of Western weapon systems. Even if she considers the partial Russian mobilization to be an act of desperation, the West should not underestimate Putin's "war on fear."

Partial mobilization in Russia, announcement of "referendums" in the occupied territories: Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock commented on this on Wednesday evening on the ZDF talk show "Markus Lanz". The partial mobilization shows how desperate Russian President Putin is, said the Foreign Minister, who is in New York with Chancellor Scholz for the UN General Assembly.

Putin underestimated the Ukrainian army's will to defend itself and international unity. "Now he's taking another weapon of war, and we shouldn't underestimate that. He's not just waging war with tanks. He's using nuclear power plants as a bargaining chip, and now he wants to wage war on fear." Putin wants to scare people in the West, for example with the threats in connection with the "referendums".

The people in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine are to vote in referendums over the next few days on their incorporation into Russia. Ukraine speaks of blackmail, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of "sham referendums" that violate international law. In 2014, Russia had already annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in this way.

The "referendums" in four Ukrainian regions are seen as a reaction to the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the east of the country. They should bring the result the separatists want: the annexation of the territories to Russia. According to this, Putin could see attempts at Ukrainian liberation as an attack on Russian territory. In this case, the head of the Kremlin again threatened to use nuclear weapons in a televised speech.

"Putin's attempts at blackmail are not working," said the foreign minister to Lanz. If one were to accept that people would participate in a "referendum" at gunpoint, it would be clear that something similar would happen in other areas as well. "It would be an invitation to further violations of international law," said Baerbock. "That's why it's important that we stand united against it."

Baerbock does not want to comment on Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons. That would be "reading coffee grounds". She says: "Only Putin knows what Putin wants." However, one thing is clear: Putin does not want the guns to remain silent. The international community spoke out against the use of nuclear weapons at the conference on disarmament in August. Only Russia blocked that. "No one in the UN has forgotten that."

The world community will not look away. "We stand with the country that was invaded here." Now it is important that as many people as possible are freed before winter. That's why Germany has to move forward with the tank deliveries, said Baerbock.

It is important that the ring exchange with Slovenia gets going. Weapons of Soviet design could be delivered from there. In addition, it is clear that state-of-the-art western systems make a difference and are therefore essential for saving human lives. They should be delivered quickly. "But it is also clear that we can only take these steps together," said Baerbock.

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