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Scholz speech at the UN: Green politician calls for tank deliveries to Ukraine

Created: 09/21/2022, 06:46 am

In his speech to the United Nations, Chancellor Olaf Scholz addressed Vladimir Putin in particular and called for war crimes to be punished.

Update from Wednesday, September 21, 6:35 a.m .: During his speech at the United Nations, Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Russia of “blatant imperialism” and promised Ukraine further support, including weapons. “Putin will only give up his war and his imperial ambitions if he realizes that he cannot win this war,” Scholz told the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday evening. “Not only is he destroying Ukraine, he is also ruining his own country.”

That is why no Russian “dictated peace” will be accepted – and no sham referendums either, emphasized Scholz. He was referring to the referendums planned by separatists in several Ukrainian regions that were announced on Tuesday. Scholz had already declared the planned votes to be contrary to international law before his speech on the sidelines of the general debate. “It’s all just an attempt at imperialist aggression, which is intended to be disguised,” said the Chancellor.

Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (SPD) spricht vor den Delegierten in der Generaldebatte bei der 77. Generalversammlung der UN in New York.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) speaks to the delegates in the general debate at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York. © Michael Kappeler/dpa

Scholz speech at the UN: Ukraine war cannot be justified by anything

In his speech, Scholz also advocated harsh punishment for Russian war crimes. “We have to look and act when Russia commits war crimes in Mariupol, Bucha or Irpin. We will hold the murderers accountable.” Germany is doing its utmost to support the International Criminal Court and the independent commission of inquiry set up by the Human Rights Council. Putin himself did not name Scholz in this context.

“There is no justification for Russia’s war of conquest against Ukraine. President Putin is leading him with one goal: to seize Ukraine,” Scholz said. There is only one word for Russia’s actions: “This is sheer imperialism.” This return of imperialism is not only a disaster for Europe, but also for the global peace order.

Scholz gave his 16-minute speech mainly in German, he only spoke the first few sentences in English. He spoke as one of the last speakers on Tuesday at around 8:30 p.m. local time, when the General Assembly hall was only about a fifth full.

Scholz speech at the UN: Green politician calls for tank deliveries to Ukraine

First report from Tuesday, September 20, 2:07 p.m .: New York – Green foreign politician Jamila Schäfer wishes Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to talk about further arms deliveries to Ukraine. “The Chancellor can act particularly credibly at the United Nations (UN) if Germany lives up to its responsibility in Ukraine,” said the head of the Bavarian Greens group in the Bundestag.

The Ukrainian army’s recent gains in territory proved that Western military aid could make all the difference. “Olaf Scholz is therefore required to signal our support for the delivery of armored vehicles and battle tanks in talks with our American partners,” said Schäfer.

Scholz at the UN: Ukraine calls for tanks

Ukraine has also demanded main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers from Western states such as Germany, which the troops could use during advances and the recapture of Russian-held areas. So far, no NATO country has delivered western-style main battle tanks. Scholz always emphasizes that Germany will not go it alone on this issue. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) is also traveling to New York.

Olaf Scholz
Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. © Michael Kappeler/dpa

While the chancellor is traveling in a government plane, the minister flies line. Differences between Scholz and Baerbock on the subject of arms deliveries to Ukraine had recently become apparent. The foreign minister had called for a quick decision on the delivery of main battle tanks to Ukraine.

Merkel last gave a UN speech in front of Scholz

Before Scholz, Angela Merkel, as Chancellor at the time, gave the last speech to the United Nations. That was in 2007. The SPD chancellor has also never been to New York. So the performance will be his first visit to the cosmopolitan city. In addition, there are high expectations of the speech.

The chancellor should offer answers as to what the “turning point” triggered by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine could mean for the United Nations. Scholz will also speak to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Scholz also speaks to Erdogan at the UN

These talks are likely to be about the planned NATO accession of Finland and Sweden, which still has to be ratified by Turkey. The dispute between Greece and Turkey over territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean could also become an issue. (mse/hg/dpa)

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