« German Chancellor Olaf Scholz claimed President Vladimir Putin was having a ‘Yalta moment’ on Ukraine, during a visit to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Hamburg on Monday for a ‘Kanzlergesprach’ (Chancellor Talks) event, taking a number of questions from citizens on key policy areas.
« If you ask from the perspective of the Russian president, I think he has a ‘Yalta moment’ in his head, he would like to take it like the European map, a big felt-tip pen and say this is yours, this is ours. Then he would be satisfied, » he claimed.
The 1945 Yalta Conference following World War II saw the US, UK and the Soviet Union attempt to shape post-war peace in Europe.
“That’s how he imagines the world. But I can say explicitly that it can’t be right for a big powerful neighbour to say, I need a bit of your territory,” the German chancellor said.
“He is not interested in the fact that so much has been destroyed, that there are mines everywhere, that so many people have died, that factories have been destroyed, that the economy has been destroyed because somehow it should be written in a history book: he has made the country bigger,” he continued.
Scholz also stressed that despite being the leading supplier of aid to Ukraine in Europe, every decision the federal government makes ‘has been weighed’ to prevent the conflict from escalating.
« We support Ukraine. We now do it second most, after the USA, but we have always been careful, no matter how hectic it has been and how loudly it has been discussed, that every single decision has been weighed in such a way that it does not lead to an escalation of the war, to a war between Russia and NATO, and that is leadership as well, » he said.
Russia has repeatedly accused Western countries of inflaming and escalating the Ukraine crisis with arms deliveries to Kiev, claiming such supplies will only prolong the fighting and won’t change the outcome of what Moscow calls the ‘special military operation’.
On asylum, the chancellor asserted that migrants fleeing disasters such as conflict or humanitarian crises should be granted protection, but argued that more needed to be done on both the national and EU level to place stricter controls on irregular migration.
“We will make sure that a common approach is chosen in Europe. But that is not the case at the moment. Most of those who arrive in Germany, and I say need protection from persecution, have already been to other European countries and have not been registered there,” he added. »