| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Zelenskiy urges Germany: tear down wall dividing free and unfree Europe

Invoking the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday to demolish what he called a “wall between free and unfree” Europe and put an end to the conflict in Ukraine.

In a videolink address to the Bundestag, Zelenskiy urged Scholz to restore freedom to Ukraine, drawing on Germany’s collective memory of the historic 1948-1949 Berlin Airlift and the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Zelenskiy described a new wall “in the middle of Europe between freedom and unfreedom” that Germany helped build, isolating Ukraine with its business ties to Russia and previous support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“And this wall grows with every bomb that falls on Ukraine, with every decision that is not made,” he added.

Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project last month, which was intended to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany.

Recalling former U.S. president Ronald Reagan’s appeal to Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, to tear down the Berlin Wall, Zelenskiy told German lawmakers: “That’s what I say to you dear Chancellor Scholz: destroy this wall.”

“Give Germany the leadership role that it has earned so that your descendants are proud of you. Support freedom, support Ukraine, stop this war, help us to stop this war,” he added.

Lawmakers in the Bundestag welcomed Zelenskiy with a standing ovation and the chamber’s vice president, Katrin Goering-Eckardt, told him: “Your country has chosen democracy, and that’s what (Russian President) Vladimir Putin fears.”

She said Putin was trying to deny Ukraine’s right to exist, adding: “But he has already failed with that.”

  • Reuters