No room for talks with Putin says Polish official
A Polish deputy foreign minister has criticised a reported policy draft of the German Social Democrats (SPD) towards Russia by arguing that "there is absolutely no room" for talks with the president of the country waging war on Ukraine.
The German press agency dpa has obtained the SPD's draft which shows that the talks between German and Russian heads of state are needed because "wars do not usually end on the battlefield."
The SPD's document, according to dpa, states that "even if, for understandable reasons, there is no longer trust in the current Russian leaders, diplomatic talks must still be possible, so further phone calls between Chancellor Olaf Scholz (an SPD member - PAP) and Russian President Vladimir Putin are due and necessary, and where possible, diplomatic initiatives must be taken."
"We must continue to make every attempt to convince Russia to withdraw (from the conflict)," the SPD politicians added.
Commenting on the dpa report, Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a deputy foreign minister, told PAP that Russian mercenaries and soldiers had committed tens of thousands of war crimes in Ukraine.
"Therefore, conducting talks with a war criminal today raises very serious doubts," he said.
According to Mularczyk, today the international community is primarily thinking about how to punish Putin and those responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, and about compensation for Ukraine.
"So today, having a dialogue with Putin is actually a continuation of the policy that led to this war (against Ukraine). After all, these close economic and political contacts, primarily between Germany and Russia, strongly encouraged Putin to start the war," he argued.
In his opinion, either Russia will be defeated and peace will be concluded on Ukraine's terms, or there will be some action aimed at concluding "some kind of compromise or peace on Russian terms", and, he said, "to this there cannot be consent."
"Putin is politically and morally responsible for war crimes and murders in Ukraine, and therefore there is absolutely no room for talks with him today," Mularczyk said.
A nine-page document obtained by dpa entitled "Social Democratic International Policy in Changing Times" indicates that negotiations with Russia have been successful in "small sub-areas", such as grain exports via the Black Sea. Therefore, further attempts at negotiations should also concern military areas and armaments.
The SPD's policy towards Russia before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine has been strongly criticised in recent months. The SPD election programme for 2021 still includes the sentence: Peace in Europe is only possible with and not against Russia, as quoted by German daily Die Welt.