Wagenknecht: End NATO, and replace it with a security organization that includes Russia
September 11, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Ostexperte.de, translated from German by Tom Winter –
The Left lead-candidate Sahra Wagenknecht set new impulses for Russia policy shortly before the Bundestag elections. In the interview with Ostexperte.de, the politician pleads for an end to the Russian sanctions, the dissolution of NATO and a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis.
You call the Russia sanctions “counterproductive.” How can the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine be solved otherwise?
The conflict in the Eastern Ukraine can only be solved diplomatically. The Minsk agreement is undermined by both sides. The parties to the conflict parties urgently need to return to the negotiating table. It is necessary to create new trust,* which is the basic prerequisite for the implementation of Minsk.
Christian Lindner was violently attacked for the view of wanting Crimea recognized, “permanently provisionally.” They have strengthened the spine of the FDP boss. What specific measures do you propose to improve the relationship with Russia?
We want a new relaxation policy against Russia. As the first confidence-building step, we want to end the sanctions and withdraw the Bundeswehr from the Russian border. Security in Europe can not be against, but only with Russia. We therefore seek the dissolution of NATO and its replacement by a collective security system that includes Russia.
What do you think of the idea of granting EU visas to Russian citizens? Could this step lead to the improvement of political relations?
One can ponder that. It would be extremely important to provide more personal and cultural contacts between the two countries. Especially so for students and younger people.
What do you think about the US’ new Russia sanctions? How do you assess the statement by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Brigitte Zypries, that the punitive measures are “illegal”?
The US’s Russian sanctions have the most obvious economic reasons and aim to give their own energy companies market advantages, i.e, to the highly problematic US fracking industry. It is a clear violation of international law to want to sanction European companies cooperating with Russia.
The new US sanctions are seen as a threat to the planned Nord Stream 2. How important is the project for Europe’s energy security? Can Wintershall & Co. count on the support of the Left?
We consider the sanctions against Russia particularly devastating for the economy of Europe. Energy security in Europe must also be based on Russian gas. The alternative would be the ecologically unacceptable fracking gas of the US corporations. If we want to push ahead with renewable energies, we need alternatives to nuclear and coal for a longer transitional period, for climate protection reasons alone.
Gerhard Schröder is criticized for his nomination to the Rosneft Supervisory Board. How do you assess the possible commitment of the SPD-old Chancellor to the Russian oil company?
We generally reject this type of lobbying, whether it be German or Russian corporations. Corporate donations, as well as the transition of politicians into group centers should be prohibited in general. Purchased politics destroy democracy.
What do you think about Donald Trump’s current Russian course? Is the US still a reliable coalition partner for the enforcement of common interests?
Donald Trump quickly turned to a course of escalation against Russia. This is highly dangerous. Donald Trump’s foreign policy must be a wake-up call for an independent civilian European foreign policy in contrast to the US.
Frau Wagenknecht, thank you very much for the interview.
This interview was conducted by Thorsten Gutmann, editor-in-chief of Ostexperte.de.
*Translator comment: “create new trust:” pure empty boilerplate. As if the people of Lugansk and Donetsk could ever trust the regime that bombards them every day. Never happen.