Angela Merkel accepts her refusal to welcome Ukraine into NATO in 2008

Germany's ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's former President Nicolas Sarkozy at the NATO summit conference in Bucharest, Romania, April 3, 2008. Both ex-leaders had spoken out against the launch of the accession process of Ukraine and Georgia, considering that they were not sufficiently stable democracies.  A position that Angela Merkel assumes after criticism from the Ukrainian president.

The former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, defended on Monday April 4 her refusal, in 2008, to initiate the process of admitting Ukraine to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the face of to the criticisms of the current President Volodymyr Zelensky who regretted the “absurd fear” manifested by certain leaders at the time. The former German official, who left politics at the end of 2021, “assumes its decisions from the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest”, is it written in a short statement released by his spokesperson.

In a video message on Sunday evening, Volodymyr Zelensky had criticized the “hidden denial”in 2008, of NATO to welcome Ukraine into its midst because of the “absurd fear of certain political leaders with regard to” from Moscow. These latter “thought that by rejecting Ukraine they could appease Russia”criticized the Ukrainian president.

Read also: War in Ukraine, live: Accused of war crimes in the city of Boutcha, Russia denies and asks for a debate in the UN Security Council

Mr Zelensky also suggested to Angela Merkel, now without official function, as well as to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to go to Boutcha, a town north-west of kyiv recently taken over by the Ukrainians, where many civilians were killed. “I invite Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy to visit Boutcha and see what the policy of concessions towards Russia has achieved”he launched.

At the NATO summit in Bucharest, in April 2008, Germany spoke out against the launch of the accession process for Ukraine and Georgia, a position shared by President Sarkozy, considering that it were not stable enough democracies.

“We don’t blame the West. We don’t blame anyone but the Russian military (…) and those who gave them orders”added Mr. Zelensky in his message on Sunday evening.

Angela Merkel’s policy called into question

The Chancellor, who remained at the head of Germany for sixteen years, has hardly spoken since the start of the war in Ukraine. In the statement released by her spokesperson, she nevertheless expressed her support. “In view of the atrocities uncovered in Bucha and other places in Ukraine, all efforts by the government and the international community to stand with Ukraine and end Russia’s barbarism and war against Ukraine have the full support of the former Chancellor”reacted the spokesperson for Mme Merkel.

A few months after her departure from power, at the height of her popularity, she is now being criticized for having lacked firmness towards President Vladimir Putin, and her policy towards Russia is the subject of severe criticism. implicated, including in his camp.

The conservative leader, who governed for several years with the Social Democrats in a grand coalition, is also criticized for having made Germany dependent on Russian gas, which before the war represented more than half of the country’s imports.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Germany questions Angela Merkel’s responsibility for aggressive escalation of Vladimir Putin

The World with AFP

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