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Senior German Military Expert Says U.S. Would Talk to Russia, but Europe Still in a Fantasy

March 19, 2024 (EIRNS)—In an interview published March 12 with Berliner Zeitung, German Col. Wolfgang Richter (ret.) , who served as battalion commander in the army and then worked as security advisor for German governments at international diplomatic levels, called scenarios for a Ukrainian victory over Russia illusory. Potential deliveries of Germany’s Taurus missiles to Ukraine would not improve Kiev’s situation, but only lead to an escalation with Russia that would be dangerous for Germany. Instead, Richter said, diplomacy should be activated to resolve the conflict politically. However, he remarked, there seems to be more realism in the U.S., and readiness to talk with Russia, than in Europe, which refuses to accept the realities and to engage in talking about a new security architecture including Russia.

The sabotaged Istanbul Communiqué of March 2022 between Moscow and Kiev, Richter recalled, contained better conditions for the Ukrainians, whose situation, since, has much worsened. Regardless of whether Trump wins the U.S. elections, Washington, says Richter, is very much prepared to negotiate with Russia in order to protect its own security interests. This is primarily about preserving strategic nuclear stability, which Washington wants to decouple from the Ukraine conflict.

“Europe has not yet adapted to this situation and has not yet found a convincing strategy. It will undoubtedly continue to stand by the side of an independent and sovereign Ukraine, but it must also keep an eye on the continent’s security and carefully weigh up the opportunities, risks and consequences of its own actions. Europe must not allow itself to be led by hopes and wishful thinking. Worst-case thinking alone will not create stability in the long term. It not only triggers an arms race, but also promotes the risk of escalation through misjudgements and pre-emptive pressure to act.”

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