Germany: SPD MPs demand an end to the war in Ukraine and negotiations with Russia
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz — who is encouraging his traditionally dovish party, the SPD, to deliver arms to Ukraine following the Russian invasion — has been called on to engage in a diplomatic offensive by lawmakers.
As a result of « turning point » (“change of time”) noted by Mr. Scholz in the context of the war in Ukraine and its consequences, the German government has increased its military budget by an extraordinary amount of 100 billion euros and sent weapons in the context of a conflict armed for the very first time.
Part of the SPD showed reluctance towards these measures and sent Mr Scholz a letter signed by many MPs and MEPs, entitled “Weapons must not make noise”.
“The spiral of escalation must be stopped”can we read in the letter, which calls for a ” way of life “.
Such modus often refers to an agreement that allows parties in conflict to coexist in peace. In addition, on August 22, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) found that Russia’s attack on Ukraine had left 5,587 civilians dead and 7,890 injured.
“With every arms delivery, it is important to carefully weigh and consider where the ‘red line’ lies, which could be perceived as going to war and provoke corresponding reactions”continue the lawmakers, who specifically mention a no-fly zone over Ukraine as well as the delivery of fighter jets and tanks.
“My God, can this party still be saved? How can one be so insensitive and oblivious to history? » a reacted Andrij Melnyk, Ukrainian Ambassador to Berlin.
German observers reacted in the same way. “It has already started with the capitulations. If there were no MPs and MEPs also involved, we could ignore this nonsense”a tweeted Carlo Masala, security expert.
Scholz visited a training operation in Germany on Thursday (25 August), where Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in the use of Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, which will be sent to Ukraine.
The pacifist wing of the SPD, led by the whip parliamentarian Rolf Mützenich, has long been a thorn in the side of Mr Scholz, who keeps repeating “Ukraine must not lose” and ruled out peace by diktat.
MEPs in the balance
Among the signatories are three MEPs from the European formation of the SPD. The latter are Dietmar Köster, Joachim Schuster and Constanze Krehl.
Ms Krehl is a member of the Regional Development Committee and is part of the Parliament’s delegation to Belarus.
Mr Schuster is Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to South Africa and a member of the ECON Committee, whose latest report focuses on EU-Africa trade relations, as shadow rapporteur.
Mr. Köster sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the delegations for Iran and the United States. He is usually responsible for co-drafting Parliament’s statements on European Commission reports on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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