In her first interview since leaving office, the former German chancellor has defended her policy toward Russia and said she doesn’t blame herself for the current situation in Ukraine.
The former chancellor insisted she had not been naive in her dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Diplomacy isn’t wrong just because it hasn’t worked,” she said. However, she never believed he could be won over by trade promises. “Military deterrence is the only language he understands,” she said.
Putin told her that the collapse of the Soviet Union had been “the worst event of the 20th century.” Merkel replied that for her, as someone who grew up in communist East Germany, the fall of the Berlin Wall meant she could live her life in freedom. Putin, she said, “hated” the Western model of democracy and wanted to “destroy” the European Union.
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