Former German Defense Minister, back in 2014: “I consider the sanctions wrong”


September 26, 2017 – Fort Russ News –, translated from German by Tom Winter –

“The Crimea was not annexed – this is the language used by NATO. The Crimea chose to be Russia.”

“I consider the sanctions wrong”
DonauKurier: Putin is to blame for everything? 
Wimmer: You’re kidding, right? 

The US wants to expand its power and could make war with Europe, says the former Parliamentary Secretary of State and Federal Minister for Defense (1988 to 1992). The 71-year-old is also the former Vice-President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

The interview:
DK: Mr Wimmer, you consider the sanctions against Russia to be wrong. Why?

Willy Wimmer: The western states including Germany have overthrown the freely elected Yanukovich government. When the events on the Maidan square in Kiev threatened to run out of control, the Russians warned us on the fact that the whole of Ukraine is on fire: the hard core forces of the right were turning up the heat. 

“The announcement of the language law by the new Ukrainian authorities – the law is clearly directed against the Russians in Ukraine. That is why I consider sanctions to be wrong. They are a means which could lead to warlike clashes.

DK: Keyword territorial integrity: Doesn’t the frontier shift go against international law, as the EU and the US criticize?

Wimmer: In the Crimea, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed, among other things, with its nuclear weapons. If violence escalated there, we would have had a conflict all over Europe. In this respect, it is understandable that Russia has accepted the referendum of the regional parliament. 

“It has been said over the past few years that the right of self-determination of peoples must be respected in certain circumstances. This has also been confirmed by the International Court of Justice in The Hague by a judgment in Kosovo. For me, these are the circumstances in the Crimea. The Crimea was not annexed – this is the language used by NATO. The Crimea chose to be Russia.

DK: So what would you call it?

Wimmer: The admission to another state stemming from the exercised  right of self-determination of the Crimean population.

DK: Are not you afraid that Putin will now join the rest of Ukraine?

Wimmer: It would be better if we wouldn’t always put the USA in the situation where they can do whatever they want. Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, we see that the United States has done all it can to get the Russian Federation out of there. The Crimea is of central importance: one can not operate the Russian naval base in Syria unless the Black Sea Fleet has been stationed in the Crimea. The Americans have a strategic interest in getting the Crimea under their control. We have known it for 15 years: Americans are looking to control Russian oil and natural gas stocks.

DK: What evidence do you have?

Wimmer: In May 2000, I was invited to a conference in Bratislava hosted by the US Department of State. There the US presented their plans — not discussed, presented — to the other ministers and state presidents. The Americans wanted to draw a line from Riga on the Baltic Sea across the Ukraine via Odessa to the Turkish Diyarbakir [ i.e, to southeastern Turkey — Tr.]. The argumentation of the USA was as follows: Everything that is west of this line is our territory and is US-dominated – right up to Russia.

 DK: Why did they want to do that?

Wimmer: The US wants to expand its power. They have already waged war twice in order not to lose the opposite coasts. Apparently the Americans think that if the countries on the [Eurasian] Continent, for example, Germany, Poland, Russia and China, cooperate too closely, American influence will fade. But European history from Napoleon on, shows that if one steps past confrontation, war is within reach.

DK: On Friday the Ukrainian ex-President Yanukovych called for referendums in all Ukrainian regions. A good idea?

Wimmer: With all due respect, he already had a couple of years for that. However, the state of Ukraine’s present situation is capable of splitting the country into many parts. This is a centralist state that takes no account of the fact that Ukraine is a complicated entity. It’s as if, in Germany, the Rhinelanders decided things all by themselves – Bavaria would not be pleased.

DK: What would be the solution?

Wimmer: A federal structure would be good for Ukraine. Of course, it should be maintained as a single country. But if it continues to be so centralized, the East will feel patronized by the West. The money is currently being earned by the East and spent by the West. As long as the rulers do not solve this problem, Ukraine is a barrel without a base, into which we should not put German money.

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