Ursula von der Leyen wants Ukraine to join the EU. FDP woman Strack-Zimmermann is campaigning for the controversial Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht. And military expert Gressel would like to see Russia “lose with a bang” so that Putin finally stops his military posturing.
It’s military time. So Gustav Gressel, a military expert, is sitting at Maybrit Illner’s discussion table. Dressel speaks plain language. One shouldn’t always think about how Vladimir Putin is doing with “anticipatory obedience”. “We have to stop his constant threats now,” explains Dressel. “The best way to do that is when he loses this war with a bang.”
Gressel is certain that Putin will react to Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO with provocations. Then a Russian military ship swims in Finnish waters or a jet flies through Swedish airspace. Gressel seems almost disgusted by this form of displaying military might. The military profiling of the Russians must come to an end. And Dressel has two other important messages.
Thus, the military expert believes that “it is possible that Ukraine will win the war against Russia.” If the Russians do not carry out a general mobilization in the summer, the numbers could shift in favor of Ukraine. The number of soldiers fighting voluntarily is increasing there. According to Dressel, it is even “a relatively simple goal” to restore the border to the way it was before February 24th. However, the situation in the Donbass and Crimea looks different because of the very good positions of the Russians.
Expert Gressel also believes that the Mariupol soldiers are being deported to Russia and subjected to a show trial for war crimes there. “There the confessions will definitely be squeezed out with torture.” The good thing, however, is that Russia is already “substantially weakened over the years”. “Finland and Sweden used a window of opportunity here.”
Ursula von der Leyen is switched on. The President of the EU Commission is in favor of Ukraine’s rapid accession to the EU. “We can see how impressively Ukraine is defending our values.” The country also has “a lot of motivation to make an effort to create the EU criteria.” Nevertheless, investments in the country have to be coupled with the “necessary reforms”.
In principle, Ukraine has it in its own hands as to how quickly EU accession is possible. The country must first and foremost “get rid of the oligarchs” and achieve “economic progress”. But Europe is already in a “common electricity grid” with Ukraine.
With regard to the oil embargo against Russia, the EU Commission President hopes that Hungarian President Viktor Orban will also approve the project. The country allegedly needs money for a new oil pipeline via Croatia and would like to see production fields for solar energy.
Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) is convinced that Sweden and Finland will become members of NATO as soon as possible, despite Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s objection. The Chairwoman of the Defense Committee in the German Bundestag says: “In a large family there is always someone who plays a bit from the side.” She also believes that Ukraine’s EU accession is inevitable. Although the country was corrupt before the war, a war like this changes things. “Young people in particular are looking for proximity to the EU,” says Strack-Zimmermann. But you should stick to the rules of the game for accessions.
The more countries there are in the EU, the more important it is that the rules are clearly followed. Then she turns to Gregor Gysi. The foreign policy spokesman for the Left Group had repeatedly stated that Germany was not allowed to supply arms to Ukraine because the country committed World War II. “It is precisely because of our history that we have to defend Ukraine,” countered the FPD politician.
Then Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht moved to the center of the discussion. “Spiegel” author Markus Feldenkirchen thinks that the office has never been more important than in these times and now of all times there is “someone who before and after never” dealt with military facts. “She’s lost. Other standards should apply in the future.” Strack-Zimmermann replied that there was far too much talk about Lambrecht’s red fingernails and high heels. None of Lambrecht’s predecessors had been confronted with such issues within 80 days. “Now Mrs. Lambrecht is standing in the mud with her boots,” said the FDP woman. “However, there is no objective reason why she should resign.”
That is exactly what CDU chairman Friedrich Merz had demanded. Strack-Zimmermann says that Merz is probably suffering from a “trauma” that resulted from the fact that Angela Merkel “frozen him from one day to the next” at the time. In the end, the biggest slap in the face is given to someone who isn’t even there.