Kremlin: Germany 'Doesn't Understand Reality', as Scholz Suggests Hardline Peace Proposal
The condition for the start of peace talks in the Ukraine conflict was the "withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory", German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suggested on Sunday.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s recent remarks on the conditions for the start of talks between Russia and Ukraine
are glaring proof that Berlin hardly understands the facts on the ground, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
"This is not Scholz's demand, these are Scholz's thoughts. It is unlikely that these thoughts indicate that the German side understands the real state of affairs," Peskov told reporters on Monday.
The statements that triggered such a reaction from the Kremlin were made by Olaf Scholz at a federal congress of Ver.di, the second-largest German trade union, on Sunday. The Chancellor of the country that has been particularly badly hit by joining the campaign of anti-Russian Western sanctions
unleased over the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, and has even been branded “the sick man of Europe” by one British magazine, said that Russian withdrawal from Ukraine should be a precondition for peace talks.
"The condition is that Russian President [Vladimir Putin] must agree to withdraw troops, this is a condition for negotiations," Scholz said adding that calls for peace talks were "cynical".
This is hardly the first time that Scholz presumed to speak of a “Russian troop withdrawal” as a “possibility for talks” that he was “sure Ukrainian government will participate in.”
During remarks at the International Meeting of Religions and Cultures in Dialogue in Berlin on 12 September, Scholz also defended German arms deliveries to Ukraine, saying that his country “will continue to support Ukraine… for as long as necessary".
Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited Ukraine for the fourth time since the escalation of the conflict there. Baerbock arrived in the capital Kiev on 11 September and uttered the same litany of pledges to support Ukraine. However, when it came to the supply of long-range Taurus cruise missiles
to the regime in Kiev, the German official called it challenging as it takes time to agree on every detail.
"This is not something that can be done quickly as it was with Leopard tanks or IRIS-T air defense systems. Every detail needs to be clarified first," Baerbock said in an interview with German media group Funke.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been clamoring for Taurus missiles, which have a range of 500km (311 miles) and can strike deep inside the Russian territory. However, in August, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that he was not rushing to approve deliveries of the weapons out of fear of dragging NATO into a war with Russia.
Ball in Ukraine’s Court Regarding Talks
The reality, though, is that NATO is engaged in a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine
, funneling billions of dollars' worth of Western-made military aid to Kiev, and training its troops. These efforts have only escalated since Ukraine's over-hyped counteroffensive started this June and quickly turned into a meat grinder
for Kiev's forces. According to data provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense, Ukraine has lost at least 43,000 troops since the beginning of the counteroffensive.
In late June, talks on Ukraine were held in Copenhagen with the participation of the G7 countries, some BRICS countries and Ukraine itself. The participants discussed the ways of implementing the peace formula of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. After that, Saudi Arabia held its own meeting on the issue in Jeddah. Moscow considers the formula to be completely detached from reality.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the latter gathering as an attempt by the US, UK and their allies to pull as many nations as possible into summits to discuss Ukraine's peace formula.
"Instead of a serious conversation based on recognizing the evolution of the real situation 'on the ground' over the past 10 years they convene staged forums with the sole purpose of luring as many countries as possible into the semblance of a discussion of the 'Zelensky’s formula,' which demands nothing less than that Russia completely capitulate, agree to compromise its security and leave millions of Russians to the mercy of fate," Lavrov stated.
Russia has repeatedly indicated it would be open to diplomatic solutions, with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noting a "sustainable" peace effort would only be possible once the "Kiev regime stops hostilities" and Western allies cease their military build-up. Zakharova recently also weighed in on whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decree banning negotiations with Russia
would be canceled in his country.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized in July that Moscow has repeatedly publicly voiced its readiness for talks with Kiev.
"After the withdrawal of our troops from near Kiev - and we were asked to do this to create conditions for the conclusion of a final agreement - the Kiev authorities abandoned all previous agreements," Putin said when meeting in St Petersburg with the heads of African delegations, adding that now, "the ball is completely in [Kiev's] court."