Merkel: No point in my mediation to solve Ukraine crisis
The former German Chancellor reveals that in 2021, she tried to engage Russian President Vladimir Putin in a dialogue with the European Union.
Former German chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday defended her years-long policy toward Moscow, saying she had "nothing to apologize for."
In her first major interview since stepping down six months ago, Merkel said she had not been naive in her dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Diplomacy isn't wrong just because it hasn't worked," the 67-year-old considered on stage in a Berlin theatre, in an interview broadcast on the Phoenix news channel.
She recalled the German-French efforts to keep the 2014 Minsk peace process for Ukraine alive. "I don't have to blame myself for not trying hard enough," the conservative ex-Chancellor said.
Engaging Putin in dialogue with the EU
Regarding the war in Ukraine, Merkel believed that she does not see any point in her mediation to resolve the war in Ukraine, adding that Kiev did not ask her to intervene in this matter.
She mentioned that in 2021, she tried to engage Russian President Vladimir Putin in a dialogue with the European Union, whose members did not agree on this issue.
It is noteworthy that on February 25, Merkel issued a public statement for the first time since leaving office, condemning Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
The veteran leader, who frequently met with Putin during her 16 years in power and championed a commerce-driven, pragmatic approach toward Moscow, said the war had marked a "turning point".
Merkel insisted that the 2014-2015 Minsk peace pacts were at the time seen as the best bet to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
It is noteworthy that Germany became hugely reliant on Russian energy imports on Merkel's watch, and she long annoyed Western allies with her backing for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was to double Russian gas deliveries to Germany.
The project was shelved by current Chancellor Olaf Scholz in late February over the war in Ukraine, and Europe's top economy is now joining EU partners in a race to limit their dependence on Russian oil, gas, and coal.