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Although they enjoyed good relations, Merkel admits: I lacked the power to influence Putin

Although they enjoyed good relations, Merkel admits: I lacked the power to

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her policy towards Russia before the invasion of Ukraine, saying she had run out of power to influence Vladimir Putin.

She said she had tried to convene European talks with the Russian president and French President Emmanuel Macron in the summer of 2021.

"But I didn't have the power to get my way," she said.

After four terms as chancellor, Merkel left office in December last year. She last visited Moscow in August 2021 and told the German news magazine that "for Putin, only power matters".

Many have argued that Merkel and other EU leaders should have adopted a tougher approach to the Kremlin.

A foreign policy expert in her Christian Democratic Party (CDU), MEP Roderich Kieseetter, is among those who say she knew Putin was trying to divide and weaken Europe, but she believed "soft power" was the right approach. .

He argued before the invasion that Germany was too dependent on Russian gas. In the Spiegel interview, Merkel said her stance on Ukraine at the Minsk peace talks had given Kiev time to better defend itself against the Russian military.

A ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk following Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and its war in the Donbass region. But key points, including disarmament and international supervision, were not implemented.

Merkel said she did not regret leaving office in December because she felt her government was failing to make progress not only on the Ukraine crisis but also on conflicts in Moldova, Georgia, Syria and Libya, all of which involved Russia.

Source: BBC

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