“The situation will escalate” – Schallenberg: “The war will last a long time”

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Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg assumes that the war in Ukraine will continue for a long time. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech announcing a partial mobilization made it clear “that there is currently no willingness on either side, especially on the Russian side, to return to the negotiating table,” Schallenberg said on the brink of the UN General Assembly in New York. The situation will “really escalate”.

According to Schallenberg, Putin deliberately chose the timing of his speech. The coincidence with the UN General Assembly allowed him to achieve “maximum psychological effect”. “Of course it was the dominant theme.”

“Annexions totally illegal”
According to Schallenberg, Putin’s planned annexations in eastern Ukraine are “completely illegal”. “This is something that the international community of states simply cannot and cannot accept. And of course you try and keep hoping that somehow there will be understanding. The solution can only be found at the negotiating table, only through diplomatic channels. No solution will be found on the battlefield.”

At the UN General Assembly, “a large majority of states” assessed the Russian attack on Ukraine as a “clear violation of all the basic principles of the UN Charter,” Schallenberg said. “But you can also see that there is a battle of stories here, especially on the African continent.” sanctions the West has imposed on us.” But that’s a “complete reversal of cause and effect,” Schallenberg said. “It’s all wrong. Before the war there was inflation, but it is Russia that exports the food or makes it difficult to export. It is Russia that is playing with the gas and using it as a weapon.” It is not the West and “especially not our sanctions, which do not affect food, gas or fertilizers”.

“Not the only problem spot”
Unfortunately, the conflict in Ukraine is not the only problem, emphasized the foreign minister, citing countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Mali as examples. “The world is very demanding at the moment, you could say as a foreign politician.” In addition, there is the dramatically accelerating climate change and the migration problem, according to Schallenberg. “We have the largest displacement of displaced persons on European soil and at the same time there is an increase in illegal migration, which of course also has to do with the economic situation. That means times are very, very challenging. The only way we can meet these challenges is through collaboration.”

The UN is the right place for that, says Schallenberg. “It takes multilateralism, it needs international cooperation.” The EU had shown strength and unity in recent months, Schallenberg said. There is “every reason to be a little proud”. Because: “If we let ourselves be divided, we have lost. But we have shown in recent months that this is possible. And I am confident that we will continue to succeed.” But “our model of life, which we rightly regard as the most attractive and based on individual rights and freedoms, is itself an act of aggression for some states. Putin sees this model as a “danger” and has therefore “taken action,” Schallenberg said. “But I think it’s always worth standing up for and championing our way of life. Because in my view it is still the best and most valuable place to live.”

Source: Krone

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