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Baerbock: “Only new propaganda from Russia”

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (archive)

Russia threatens the Federal Foreign Minister counters. In the DW interview, Annalena Baerbock was unimpressed by the warlike tones from Moscow and promised further German aid for Ukraine.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has reacted sharply to Russian announcements that she would attack further areas in Ukraine. “Russia uses a different argument each time. This time they say it’s because of military support. But they’ve attacked Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine in the past, so it’s just new propaganda from the Russian side,” said the minister in an exclusive interview with DW.

German support for Ukraine

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had previously told Russian media that the Russian military operation should be expanded to targets in western Ukraine in the future. Geographical targets would move even further away from the current front if the West continues to “gun pump” Ukraine, Lavrov warned. He ruled out peace talks in the near future.

Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock, on the other hand, promises Ukraine further German aid: “We are looking at different types of support. What we can do is provide support: with investigations, with demining various cities. We support medical aid, we support the refugees. And yes, if there are things where we can do more, including with direct financial grants, which we are currently discussing, then we will look into that as well,” she said.

DW interview with Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock
Foreign Minister Baerbock in an interview with DW correspondent Richard Walker

Baerbock is currently on a ten-day summer trip through Germany. Hashtag: #SafeLife. Under this title, she wants to discuss the planned national security strategy with citizens. In March, the minister officially began to develop a corresponding strategy.

New China Policy

In this context, the federal government also wants to realign its China policy. The aim is to rethink economic dependency in some areas, Baerbock now told Deutsche Welle – for example on the subject of electromobility: “If we really rely on electric cars to achieve our climate goals, then, of course, we need batteries. We have them here not the battery production that we need for our electric cars. We are building one now, but for all the materials that are in batteries we have a 98 percent dependency and that affects all cars in Europe.”

Therefore, Germany will coordinate closely with its European partners and the EU Commission. The Commission has made it clear that China competitor on some economic issues and a partner in the fight against the climate crisis, but also a system rival.

“And because it is a system rival, we have to make it clear that no one can blackmail us like they did when it came to dependence on Russia,” says the minister. This is the basis for the German government’s China strategy. “We work together where we can work together, but we also have a European strategy for independence in critical infrastructure that fits with our foreign policy,” Baerbock said.

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