Calling for the Holocaust, Zelenskyy knocks out Germany for defeat against Ukraine – POLITICO

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BERLIN – In a fiery speech to lawmakers in Berlin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday accused politicians of failing to properly discharge their historic responsibilities in the wake of the Holocaust – recorded in the phrase “never again” – to ensure peace in Europe.

Zelenskyy, a Jewish president of a country deeply traumatized by millions of deaths in World War II and the Holocaust, has criticized Germany for pursuing a policy of appeasement towards Russia in recent years and favoring Russia. prioritize economic security over democratic values.

Amid heavy civilian casualties from Russian bombardment, Ukraine insists the EU must stop buying oil and gas to help fill President Vladimir Putin’s war chest. However, Germany is the main opponent of the move, arguing that it has no choice but to continue buying energy from Russia.

That German courage helped spark a bitter speech on Thursday, in which the president did not emphasize his condemnation.

“After 80 years, something like this happens and I’m telling you: Every year politicians repeat the words ‘never again’ and now we see that these words simply have no value. what. In Europe, a people is being destroyed. There is an attempt to destroy everything that we hold dear,” he said.

Speaking via video link from Kyiv, Zelenskyy criticized Germany for years of prioritizing business in Russia over defending Western values. In fact, after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, while the EU as a whole was committed to reducing its dependence on Russian gas, Berlin broke ranks and promoted the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Russia. Germany, in the face of stiff opposition from Ukraine and other allies.

“We always say that Nord Stream 2 is a weapon and a preparation for great war, and we get feedback that it is about the economy, the economy, the economy,” Zelenskyy said. Berlin only laid the pipeline last month, just days before Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Some steps were taken too late. Sanctions may not be enough to prevent war, “Zelenskyy told Germany’s lower house, parliament, as Russia continues its deadly campaign of violence in Ukraine that has left thousands dead.

In his speech, Zelenskyy said that there is a new wall in Europe, built of bricks that represents Germany’s failure to side with Ukraine, with the Nord Stream 2 fallout providing “cement.” for the wall.

“The world may not yet see it as clearly, but you are separated from us by some kind of wall. Not the Berlin Wall, but the wall in the middle of Europe between freedom and need. And this wall is getting higher and higher with each bomb that falls on Ukraine. With every decision not made for peace,” he said.

Another brick in the wall, Zelenskyy said, is Germany’s reluctance to let Ukraine join NATO.

He begged German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to “tear down this wall”, echoing a stated delivered by former US President Ronald Reagan in Berlin in 1987. Zelenskyy also led Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill in his address to the British parliament last week, and American civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr., in a speech Wednesday to the US. Conference.

Zelenskyy thanked German companies for “putting ethics above economic interests” and supporters of the idea of ​​Ukraine becoming an EU member, but his tone remained one of deep disappointment and outright criticism. frankly.

After Zelenskyy’s speech ended, the German parliament moved directly to other topics, a move that drew criticism from many MPs, including the Bundestag’s head of foreign policy, Norbert Röttgen.

“Today is the most unbelievable Bundestag moment I have ever experienced!” he tweeted.

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