Crimea Part of Russian History: Former German Chancellor Schroeder

Crimea Part of Russian History: Former German Chancellor Schroeder

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Crimea is part of Russian history, but Europe failed to help resolve the Ukraine conflict, even though it had a chance to facilitate peace in March of 2022, Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (in office in 1998-2005) said.

"They (Europeans) have proven to be incapable. In March 2022, a window of opportunity opened. Ukrainians were ready to talk Crimea. And this was confirmed even by the Bild newspaper then," Schroeder said in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, TASS reported.

The former chancellor believes that five conditions should be met to help resolve the conflict.

"First, Ukraine’s refusal from NATO membership, as Ukraine is incapable of meeting the conditions. Second, the problem of the language, as the Ukrainian parliament abolished the two-language system, and that must be changed. Third, Donbass should remain part of Ukraine, but needs more autonomy. Fourth, Ukraine needs security guarantees as well. The UN Security Council plus Germany should provide such guarantees. Fifth, Crimea. How long has Crimea been Russian? For Russia, Crimea is more than just a territory, but it is part of its history," he said.

"It would have been possible to end the war if it had not been for geopolitical interests," he stated.

In Schroeder’s opinion, "(Chancellor Olaf) Scholz and (French President Emmanuel) Macron should have spoken up for the peace process in Ukraine as it is not only an American problem, but a European problem above all."

"We have to ask a question, ‘What can we do to put an end to the war?’ Now, everybody wants to know, ‘What can we do to send more weapons (to Ukraine)?’" he asked rhetorically.

According to Schroeder, France and Germany are currently the only countries that can initiate the implementation of a peace plan. "Macron and Scholz are the only ones who can talk with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," he said, suggesting that the support for Kiev can go hand in hand with proposals to Moscow.

"Indeed, arms deliveries is not a forever solution. But nobody wants to talk. Everyone is in the trenches," he said. "The only one who has achieved something, although he is constantly being denigrated, is (Turkish President Tayyip) Erdogan with his grain deal," he said.

Schroeder noted that Russia is convinced of NATO’s determination to expand eastward, into the post-Soviet space.

"Nobody in Russia’s leadership will let this happen," the former chancellor stated. In his opinion, "the West must realize it and accept it accordingly, otherwise it will be hard to achieve peace," he concluded.

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