Attacks on Russian territory – Baerbock takes a clear position

Should Ukraine also be allowed to attack deep within Russian territory? The German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is clear in a newspaper interview.

It has been one of the key issues over the past few weeks and months when it came to supplying long-range weapons to Ukraine. Should the country attacked by Russia be able to act deep within Russian territory? The German Foreign Minister has now given an answer.

When asked whether she approved of the Ukrainian counter-attacks in the Russian heartland, Annalena Baerbock said: “Ukraine is not attacking Russia, but rather Russia invaded Ukraine with tanks, soldiers and rockets.” If Ukraine defends itself against this, “to protect its people, it does so in accordance with international law. Specifically, the right to self-defence, enshrined in the UN Charter,” the minister told the Funke media group and the French newspaper “Eastern France”.

“This brutal Russian war of aggression is not only being waged with tanks and soldiers in Ukraine, but also with merciless attacks from Russia,” Baerbock said. Therefore, Ukraine has “a right to self-defence, a right to ward off the attacks as best as possible”.

“In this respect, the Ukrainian request is understandable”

The Green politician approves of the Ukrainian attacks on cities like Moscow, which at the same time raises the question of the long-range weapon systems demanded by Kiev. Months ago, Ukraine asked the federal government about “Taurus” cruise missiles. However, the Chancellery has not yet been able to make a decision. There, one refers to the fact that it must first be examined whether, and if so, under what technological conditions, the missiles can be made available to the country without further escalating the conflict. “We will continue to make it difficult for ourselves,” explained Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the ZDF summer interview of his hesitant attitude on the issue of “Taurus” deliveries.

The situation at the front is also making it difficult for Ukraine, where many soldiers are dying every day, and where the Russian army has laid huge minefields to stop the advance of the Ukrainian troops as part of their counter-offensive. Baerbock said this with a view to Kiev’s request for the German cruise missiles. “In order to liberate the people of eastern Ukraine in order to hit Russian supply lines behind the defense line, the mine belt must be breached. In this respect, the Ukrainian request for longer-range devices is more than understandable.”

In terms of tonality, that sounds much more cooperative and approachable than the chancellor put it to recently. “My impression is that the vast majority of citizens find that very, very correct,” he said on ZDF, “that not every time someone asks somewhere in a conversation: ‘that and that?’ so that people always say: yes.”

A pointer in the direction of the SPD and the Chancellery?

That probably meant not always giving in to all demands. While Scholz got the impression that Ukraine’s urgent request for further military support was a temporary whim, Baerbock addresses the actual military-strategic necessities that the Ukrainian generals are facing in the context of the counter-offensive.

Although the Foreign Minister also points out that of course all the details must first be clarified before such a delivery can be approved. As was the case with the Leopard tanks and the Iris-T anti-aircraft system. “There, too, it was crucial: How can we best support Ukraine in the current situation?” said Baerbock.

Specifically, the Greens politician said on the question of whether the cruise missiles should be programmed so that they did not reach Russian territory: “Other partners have asked themselves similar questions and found solutions.”


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