Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called on Germany to tear down the new “wall” he says has been erected in Europe since Russia invaded his country. Zelensky gave a speech to the Bundestag via video link.
“Dear Chancellor Scholz, destroy that wall, give Germany the leadership role it deserves,” it sounded in comparison to the Cold War period. “But this is not a Berlin wall, but a wall in Central Europe between freedom and slavery, which grows bigger with every bomb” dropped on a city in Ukraine. According to Zelensky, the new, “much stronger” wall will prevent other Europeans from seeing the suffering in his country.
Just like Wednesday before the US Congress, the Ukrainian president received a standing ovation in the German parliament before starting his speech. Zelensky, however, did not shy away from criticism. He deplored the close economic relations that have developed between Berlin and Moscow in recent years, especially in the field of energy. He referred to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Germany has admittedly suspended the opening of that pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
“Dear German people, how is it possible that when we said that Nord Stream 2 was some kind of preparation for war, we were told in response: ‘It is only economics, pure economics'”, Zelensky denounced. “For some, it is political, but it is also stone for a new wall,” said the Ukrainian president. Germany initially refused to supply arms to Ukraine but finally gave in after the invasion started three weeks ago.
Zelensky also asked the Bundestag for support for his country’s efforts to join the European Union.