Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck defends Baerbock’s “slip sentence”, sees no fighter jets in Ukraine (yet) and wants to make the German economy internationally competitive again.
“That wasn’t precise,” explains Robert Habeck. “But that is also a deliberate misinterpretation of your speech. That also says a lot.” The speech that the Federal Minister of Economics was referring to was given by his Green party colleague Annalena Baerbock and outlined a joint effort by the international community against Russia.
The short speech by the foreign minister ended with the remark that some countries need to realize that they are not at war with each other, but with Russia. “It was just a slipped sentence. I find the context perfectly clear. Annalena didn’t declare war on Russia or anything like that,” the Vice Chancellor defended the Foreign Minister.
In fact, Russian state television used Baerbock’s statement to play the victim role of someone who sees himself exposed to attacks from the West and NATO and therefore has to defend himself. Annalena Baerbock’s “slipped sentence” gave Russia’s propaganda machine plenty of new fodder.
Economics Minister Habeck also goes into this with Markus Lanz: “No one can like what’s on Russian television. Russian propaganda twists cause and effect, mixes up victims and perpetrators.” It can be seen that abuse is the pattern of Russian propaganda.
Robert Habeck gave a timely announcement to a delivery of combat aircraft to the Ukraine. “It is right to give main battle tanks to Ukraine. We are witnessing an old-fashioned war. Ukraine needs reinforcements on the ground to ward off a Russian offensive. Maybe we hesitated too long.”
But it was right to make this decision together with the Americans. At the moment, however, he thinks “relatively little” about discussions about airplanes or submarines. “I don’t think it’s right, generally not right, to talk about it now,” explained Habeck.
The Federal Minister of Economics also pointed out that he had said months ago – for example on the Lanz program – that Germany would by no means do everything it can. “We only do things that don’t let us become a war party,” said Habeck. “Although it’s not entirely clear where that line goes.”
The only thing that is clear is that Germany supports Ukraine in its right to self-defense. Planes would probably make Germany a party to the war, however, because Ukraine obviously needs the West to expect the jets. Says: In this case, Western soldiers would have to help on the ground in Ukraine. “That would be the wrong decision now,” states Habeck. “There is a difference between main battle tanks and fighter jets.”
Habeck was pleased that the German economy had shown itself to be relatively robust in view of the Ukraine war. “It was clear that sanctions and counter-sanctions would hit the German economy badly. But then we got through surprisingly well.”
A minus of 12 percent was forecast. That would have corresponded to about twice the minus during the Corona crisis. But there was no slump of this magnitude. The task now is to make Germany competitive with the USA and above all with China. “We should feel grabbed by the ambition. If we continue with this slowness, then we will lose international competitiveness.”