Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Germany in a moving video address before parliament from Thursday to help destroy a new “Wall” that Russia was erecting in Europe.
“It’s not a Berlin Wall, it’s a wall in central Europe between freedom and servitude and this wall is getting bigger with every bomb” dropped on Ukraine, Zelenskyy told members of parliament.
appearing on a screen in son now iconic khaki t-shirt with dark circles under son eyesZelenskyy has been well received by lawmakers in the lower Bundestag house with a standing ovation.
In a speech impregnated in historic images of the triumph of Germany over his Cold War division Zelensky addressed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz directly with a call for greater solidarity with Ukraine.
“Dear Mr. Scholz, tear down this wall,” he implored, referring to US President Ronald Reagan’s 1987 call in Berlin.
“Give Germany the leadership role that you in Germany deserves.”
However, he coupled his flattery with a strong reprimand of Berlin’s reluctance for years to stand up up in Moscow and cut off its strong energy and business ties with Russia.
“We turned to you,” he said. “We told you that Nord Stream (gas pipelines) was kind of of preperation for the war.”
“And the answer we got was purely economic – that’s economy, economy, economy but it was the mortar for the new Wall.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 caused an overhaul of key boards of Germany’s energy, economy and security policy – some of they are dating each other back until the end of The Second World War.
He put the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project on ice cream, joined allies in impose punitive sanctions on Ukraine and pledged to massively increase in defense spend while removing a ban on arms exports to conflict zones in to help Ukraine.
Germany has also says it aims to be nearly free of Russian oil imports by the end of this year although there remains remains highly dependent on Russian gas.
However, Berlin resisted an outright shutdown of Russian energy imports, warning it would be cause winter shortages and drive inflation, creating potential instability in The top European economy.