Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this week that in the months prior to Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine she no longer had the power to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin not to invade.
In the summer of 2021, Merkel told Spiegel news, she attempted to hold a summit of European powers with Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.
But at the time she was considered a lame duck leader who was set to retire in the fall.
“I didn't have the power to get my way," she said. "Really everyone knew: In autumn she'll be gone.”
Merkel retired as German leader in December after four terms. She last visited Moscow in August 2021.
She told Spiegel that during the visit "the feeling was very clear: 'In terms of power politics you're finished.’”
This was demonstrated, she explained, by Putin bringing along Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to their final meeting. When in the past, they had always met alone.
Merkel and other European leaders have been blamed for not taking a stronger stance against Russia in the period leading up to its invasion of Ukraine.
The former chancellor insisted that her foreign policy approach during the Minsk peace negotiations, which led to a ceasefire agreement after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, gave Ukraine additional time to arm itself against Russian aggression.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)