Berlin, Mar 17 (EFE).- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday rebuked Germany for prioritizing the economy and the supply of Russian gas, while warning that Moscow is “building a new wall” in Europe with its invasion of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy, who has been addressing several western nations’ parliaments in a bid to boost military support for his country’s defense against Russia, told the German Bundestag that his administration had warned Berlin that “Nord Stream 2 was a weapon,” referring to the lucrative pipeline deal Germany signed to import gas directly from Russia, bypassing Ukraine.
The project was suspended in the wake of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion which was launched on February 24.
“We could see your willingness to continue to do business with Russia and now we’re in the middle of the cold war. And again this is something you have failed to see,” Zelenskyy said after receiving a standing ovation from MPs.
“You’re still protecting yourself behind a wall that does not make it possible for you to see what we are going through,” he said.
“Every bomb that falls, every decision that is not taken is a stone with which that wall is built,” the Ukrainian president added.
Zelenskyy addressed German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, whom he asked to “be the leader that Germany needs” and to support his country decisively, which he said should go beyond the economic sanctions so far imposed against Putin’s entourage.
In his speech, the Ukrainian leader methodically listed the bombardments on the besieged city of Mariupol and the rest of the attacks that his country is suffering “day and night”, “every day of the week”.
“It is difficult for us to survive all this without the help of the rest of the world, to defend Ukraine and to defend the free world of Europe”, he added.
Zelenskyy paraphrased United States president Ronald Reagan’s historic 1987 speech, in which he urged the then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall that symbolized the division of Europe between the Moscow-backed communist east and US-backed capitalist west.
“Mr. Scholz, tear down that wall,” he said, before lamenting that his country was receiving “more support” from the other side of the Atlantic than from Europe itself.
While Germany has supplied Ukraine with additional fighter aircraft, tanks and missiles and intends to increase its defense spending by 100 billion in the wake of Russia’s invasion, it has maintained its firm opposition to Nato engaging in the conflict directly, preferring to focus on de-escalation. EFE