The “success” of the Istanbul wheat deal between Russia and Ukraine can be used to reach a ceasefire, believes Gerhard Schroeder
A ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine is possible, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told several German media after his visit to Moscow last week. The Kremlin wants to resolve the conflict through talks, the politician added in an interview published on Wednesday.
A recent “initial success” the results achieved during the Istanbul wheat export negotiations can be used to gradually reach a ceasefire, Schroeder told German magazine Stern and broadcaster RTL / ntv. In July, Russia and Ukraine signed a package of documents aimed at unblocking Ukrainian agricultural shipments blocked in Black Sea ports during the Russian military operation, following negotiations that also involved Turkey and the United Nations. In addition, Moscow and the United Nations have signed a separate memorandum aimed at easing sanctions on Russian agricultural products.
“The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution”, Schroeder said. At the same time, the former chancellor warned “Denigration of possible concessions by Ukraine as ‘peace dictated’ by Russia in advance”, calling him to “big mistake.”
The former chancellor also believes that a compromise can still be reached on the fate of Donbass and Ukraine’s neutrality. He called him a “Wise decisions” by then Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, not to accept Ukraine’s membership of NATO in 2008. Kiev could use a “alternative” this would not involve joining NATO, as Austria did.
Schroeder acknowledged that the Donbass issue is complicated and that, instead of granting more autonomy to the region, Kiev has continued to crack down on the rights of the local population. “We will have to find a solution based on the Swiss cantonal model”, Schroeder believes. The former chancellor, however, expressed doubts that Russia will agree to return to the “Line of contact” drawn by February 24th.
Schroeder went on to harshly criticize Kiev’s plans to take back Crimea by force, saying: “An idea that the Ukrainian president [Volodymyr] Zelensky wants to recapture Crimea militarily is absurd “. Instead, there may be tensions around the peninsula which reunited with Russia following a referendum in 2014 “resolved over time” he suggested, expressing the hope that it would not be necessary “Over 99 years like in Hong Kong” but it would take place during the life of “the next generation.”
The former German leader also highly praised the mediating role of Turkish officials, stating that they are “currently very useful in negotiations on grain shipments”. However, no interview can be successful without a positive contribution from the United States, Schroeder believes.
“It won’t work without a ‘Yes’ from Washington”, Hey explained.
In the same interview, Schroeder also suggested launching the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a way to overcome the energy crisis. the “Simple solution” that’s right there, he said, adding that Germany should do it “bear the consequences” if you abandon this option.
The former German chancellor, who was heavily criticized at home for his close ties to Moscow, defended his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Wanted [my] Is personal distancing from Vladimir Putin really good for anyone? he asked rhetorically. “I’ve made some decisions, and I’m close to her, and I’ve made it clear: maybe I can come in handy. So why should I apologize? “
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