The German Foreign Ministry had to explain the resonant statement of its head Annalena Berbock that Europe is at war with Russia.
At a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on January 24, Baerbock said that they are fighting a war against Russia, not against each other.
The German foreign minister's quote promptly went viral in the international media, causing surprise and criticism, the German newspaper Bild wrote, explaining that Berbock's words ran counter to the position of the German government: Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly emphasized that Germany should not become a party to war. Responding to the magazine's inquiry, the German Foreign Ministry provided clarifications regarding Annalena Berbock's phrase.
Russia is waging a brutal war against Ukraine. It is also a war against the European world order and international law. At a meeting with members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on January 24, Foreign Minister Berbock stressed that Europe must jointly oppose this war, the ministry's response, quoted by DW, said.
International law is unequivocal, it further noted.
Supporting Ukraine in exercising its individual right of self-defense, as enshrined in the UN Charter, against an invading Russian war does not make Germany a party to the conflict. Probably the last phrase in the official response of the Foreign Ministry indicates that Annalena Berbock was still overreaching with her wording, the Bild newspaper pointed out.
On January 25, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz approved supplies of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, stressing that the decision had been taken in agreement and close cooperation with Germany's allies. The chancellor assured that the German government would continue to adhere to this principle, which, in his words, makes it possible to prevent the war in Ukraine from escalating into a war between Russia and NATO.