Ukraine dispute at Maischberger: Klaus Ernst: "Both sides shoot"

When Sahra Wagenknecht complained about Germany's "economic war against Russia" in the Bundestag, she was met with incomprehension and outrage within her own ranks.

Ukraine dispute at Maischberger: Klaus Ernst: "Both sides shoot"

When Sahra Wagenknecht complained about Germany's "economic war against Russia" in the Bundestag, she was met with incomprehension and outrage within her own ranks. Her left party friend Klaus Ernst agrees with her on the matter. With "Maischberger" he has little to counter Marieluise Beck's arguments apart from wild waving.

When the Eastern Europe expert Marieluise Beck from the Greens and Left-wing politician Klaus Ernst meet, one can expect a heated discussion. Because there are two opinions that are as different as the characters of the two politicians. Here is Ernst, gesticulating violently, who always seems a bit like an excited Duracell rabbit and will say later in the program about the President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas: "I don't want to see Klaus Ernst when he's really excited." On the other side is Marieluise Beck, who seems relaxed and who founded the "Zentrum Liberale Moderne" with her husband Ralf Fücks. Measured by the applause, Beck comes off much better with the audience. Ernst, who is counted in the camp of the controversial Sahra Wagenknecht on the left, cannot win over the audience. He also manages to set one or the other point.

The different views of the two are well known: Ernst is in favor of an end to the sanctions against Russia and wants to end the war in Ukraine with immediate negotiations. Beck thinks the sanctions and arms deliveries to Ukraine make sense. In the end, the justifications for the respective standpoints are always exciting.

Confronted with the speech before the Bundestag, in which his party member Wagenknecht accused the federal government of having "started an economic war against Russia," Ernst relented a little: One could argue about the term "started by the fence." . But the fact is: "The economic sanctions didn't come from Russia, we did them." Germany is involved in an economic war. "Some lead him, others try to defend themselves - and turn off the gas." Ernst thinks it's amazing that Russia has been supplying gas to Germany for so long.

Beck replies that Putin began waging a gas war against Germany even before the invasion of Ukraine. "Before Putin launched the attack on Ukraine, Russia wasn't filling our gas storage facilities as agreed," she says. Putin's goal was to bring Germany to its knees "so that we don't show solidarity with the people of Ukraine."

"The memory that was not full should have been an alarm signal," said Beck. And there were other warning signs that were not heeded. Putin wrote in an essay last summer that he does not recognize Ukraine as a state.

In the current crisis, Germany and Europe have seen a decline in industrial production, complains Ernst. "The Americans are very happy about it." Now the competitive relationship between Europe and the USA would shift in favor of the USA. The sanctions against Russia are also responsible for this. That's why they have to be reconsidered. "Not all," he adds. "I have nothing against Russian oligarchs being attacked. Preferably the Ukrainian ones too."

Beck does not want to think about the sanctions. In her view, the German dependence on Russian supplies is to blame for the currently high energy prices. "We have to make a change now," she says.

Then she criticizes the "coldness" towards the people of Ukraine, which she recognizes in the left. The current situation is not just about recapturing occupied territories. "It's about freeing people from terror, from torture, from rape. That's what the Ukrainian army is doing at great sacrifice." Germany financed the Russian war with gas purchases.

No, says Ernst, he doesn't feel cold towards the people in Ukraine. That is why he is also against arms deliveries. They meant that more and more people would be killed, according to Ernst. "Russia started the war. But there is shooting on both sides."

Ultimately, it is important to end the war as quickly as possible. That is only possible with negotiations. "Negotiations are the order of the day, otherwise the war will go on for years." And Russia wants to negotiate, Foreign Minister Lavrov said so clearly. That is now a matter for Russia and the USA.

Beck can't accept that. After the Russian occupation of Crimea, Ukraine negotiated a peace solution with Russia. Russia broke the contract that was reached. And currently the Russian President does not want any negotiations, as he said on Tuesday. That's why Beck's only solution is to supply more weapons to Ukraine. "As the current situation shows, they can shorten the war," she says. She is afraid that the European peace architecture, which is based on international law and the law of secure borders, will collapse in the event of a Russian victory.

Ernst sees it completely differently: "I think the fear of the Russians is absolute nonsense." And: "Russia would not risk attacking a NATO country." And suddenly a smile conjures up on the face of the Green politician. "I take it that you trust in the security of NATO. That's new."

This would have almost ended the discussion if the President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas had not been a guest at the end of the program. She jumps in Marieluise Beck. Bas is also in favor of arms deliveries: "When we say that Ukraine is also defending our values, we have to give the support we can. It's important not to let up now."

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