In his first speech to the United Nations, Chancellor Scholz is harsh on Russia. The SPD politician emphasizes that the planned dummy speakers in the occupied Ukrainian territories will not be accepted. At the same time he assures Kyiv of further support.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Russia of "blatant imperialism" before the United Nations and promised Ukraine further support, including weapons. "Putin will only give up his war and his imperial ambitions if he realizes that he cannot win this war," Scholz told the UN General Assembly in New York. "Not only is he destroying Ukraine, he is also ruining his own country."
That's why no Russian "dictated peace" will be accepted - and no sham referendums either, emphasized Scholz. He was alluding to the referendums planned by separatists in several Ukrainian regions that were announced on Tuesday. It is now feared that Russia could also annex these regions, as it did in 2014 in the case of the Crimean Peninsula.
Scholz had already declared the planned votes to be contrary to international law before his speech on the sidelines of the general debate. It is "very, very clear that these sham referendums cannot be accepted, that they are not covered by international law and by the understandings that the international community has reached," said Scholz. "It's all just an attempt at imperialist aggression that's supposed to be embellished."
In his speech, Scholz also advocated harsh punishment for Russian war crimes. "We have to look and act when Russia commits war crimes in Mariupol, Bucha or Irpin. We will hold the murderers accountable." Germany is doing its utmost to support the International Criminal Court and the independent commission of inquiry set up by the Human Rights Council. Putin himself did not name Scholz in this context.
Ukraine must be able to repel Russia's attack, said Scholz. "We are supporting Ukraine with all our might: financially, economically, humanitarianly and also with weapons." Shortly before the chancellor left for New York, the federal government had promised further weapons from Bundeswehr stocks, including four heavy artillery pieces of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 type.
"There is no justification for Russia's war of conquest against Ukraine. President Putin is waging it with a single goal: to seize Ukraine," said Scholz. There is only one word for Russia's actions: "This is sheer imperialism." This return of imperialism is not only a disaster for Europe, but also for the global peace order.
French President Emmanuel Macron had previously spoken of a resurgence of imperialism in his speech. "What we have seen since February 24 is a return to the days of imperialism and the colonies," he said. This imperialism "takes the form of a territorial invasion modeled on a hybrid and globalized war that uses the price of energy, food security, nuclear safety, access to information and popular movements as weapons of division and destruction".