At the end of her term in office, former Chancellor Angela Merkel realized how much her relationship with the Russian President had changed. In an interview with the “Spiegel” she describes a meeting with Putin, in which she realized: “In terms of power politics you are through.”
Since the beginning of the Ukraine war, Angela Merkel has consciously looked back on her political responsibility. She now told the “Spiegel” that her personal relationship with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has cooled noticeably with her approaching retirement. During her farewell visit in August 2021, she “felt very clearly: ‘In terms of power politics, you’re through.’ For Putin, only power counts.”
The fact that Putin was playing with Merkel was also evident in the constellation of talks with the Russian foreign minister: “He brought Lavrov with him to this last visit, otherwise we often met privately.”
Merkel was “not surprised that the conflict in Ukraine would escalate into war. The Minsk agreement was undermined,” said the former Chancellor. After the talks between Biden and Putin in the summer of 2021, Merkel also wanted to “establish an independent European discussion format with Putin.” But this was met with contradiction in the EU Council with the other heads of government.
“I no longer had the strength to assert myself, because everyone knew that she would be gone in the fall,” Merkel analyzed in retrospect. She then did not pursue the initiative any further. “If I had started again in September, I would have drilled further,” said the ex-Chancellor.