The Munich Security Conference takes place shortly before the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And one thing is clear: representatives of the Kremlin will not be invited. After all, Moscow wants to continue to destroy Ukraine, they say. Some Russians are welcome though.
Representatives of the Russian government have not been invited to the Munich Security Conference this year. This is what conference boss Christoph Heusgen told MDR. The event, which is attended annually by high-ranking politicians from many countries, does not want to provide a platform for the propaganda of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The statements we hear every day from the Kremlin do not suggest that they are deviating by even one iota from what Putin has declared as a war goal, namely the destruction of Ukraine," said Heusgen. Instead of members of the government, representatives of civil society and the opposition were invited from Russia. They included former world chess champion Garry Kasparov and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The former foreign policy adviser to ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel also defended Germany's support for Ukraine. "Putin has said clearly that ultimately he wants to restore the Soviet Union," he said. Eventually, if the Russian president succeeded in Ukraine, he would invade the Baltic states as well. Since these belonged to NATO, Germany would be directly challenged and the assistance obligations would apply. "That has to be prevented, that's why Ukraine needs help," said Heusgen.
The security conference takes place in Munich from February 17th to 19th and is the largest security policy meeting in the world. At last year's conference, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned emphatically about Russia: "Ukraine longs for peace, Europe longs for peace. The world says it doesn't want war, while Russia says it doesn't want to intervene: Someone is lying here," he said. Only a few days later, Russia invaded Ukraine with tens of thousands of soldiers.