The chairman of the Bundestag Defense Committee has sharply criticized the decisions taken by Angela Merkel during her tenure and, indirectly, accused the former chancellor of complicity in Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Referring to the Bucharest summit in 2008 at which NATO countries promised Ukraine an early accession into the alliance, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann told German TV channels RTL and n-tv: "The fact that Ukrainians did not get into NATO was a big mistake made by the French and Angela Merkel at the time".
The summit was also attended by President Putin who made it clear that Russia would oppose any move to offer membership to both Ukraine and Georgia. Ultimately the proposal failed because Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy opposed it out of consideration for Russia’s stated position.
Merkel continued to defend her decision even after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, her spokeswoman released a statement in April 2022 saying that she, "stands by her decisions in relation to the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest."
Strack-Zimmermann also believes that Germany should have sided with Ukraine and supported it with weapons after the Russian full-scale invasion. She considered, however, that it would be necessary to "rewrite the history of Angela Merkel, especially the history of the last few years and complete miscalculations."
Strack-Zimmermann, a politician from the German Free Democratic Party (FDP), commenting on the prospects of the conflict suggested that it is unlikely to last as long as the First or Second World Wars. She told the interviewers that "the war definitely won't last four or five years," adding that Putin had not expected such broad and constant support for Ukraine from western countries.
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