German MP suggests "freezing" war in Ukraine, receives criticism in response

Friday, 15 March 2024

Rolf Mützenich, the leader of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD or Social Democratic Party of Germany) in the Bundestag, suggested during a debate earlier to consider "freezing" the war in Ukraine. The suggestion was met with criticism from Mützenich’s associates.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), in particular, Mützenich sharply criticised the supporters of providing Ukraine with Taurus long-range missiles and said: "Isn't it time not only to discuss how to wage war but also to think about how to freeze the war and end it later?"

Afterwards, the chair of the Bundestag Defence Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, said she was shocked by Mützenich’s remarks.

"Such a view of Russia's aggressive war would mean a paradigm shift," she believes.


Strack-Zimmermann added that Ukraine has been assured of support in defending itself against Russia, and while Mützenich is now speaking on behalf of the SPD, Chancellor Olaf Scholz's party is obviously moving away from the "change of epochs" proclaimed by the chancellor, which should be thoroughly discussed within the coalition.

In his turn, Anton Hofreiter, a foreign policy expert of the Green Party, accused Mützenich of being naive.

"I believe that the SPD, in its naivety, has not realised that it takes two to negotiate. Namely, not only the victim but also the aggressor must be ready to negotiate," Tagesspiegel quoted the lawmaker as saying.

Hofreiter believes that with his remarks, Mützenich is attempting to derail the chances of negotiations by pursuing a strategy aimed at freezing the conflict.

"In this way, he is achieving the exact opposite of what he claims to want to achieve, namely, ending the war," the lawmaker added.

At the same time, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit, when asked to comment on Mützenich's remarks, noted that the government does not assess statements made in parliament.

Meanwhile, he stressed that Germany supports Ukraine "in its defence against the Russian aggressor with everything we can take responsibility for".

"That is still in effect," the spokesman added.

Earlier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of unwavering support amid the blocking of Taurus shipments.

Scholz also rejected the idea of swapping missiles with the UK to provide Ukraine with more long-range weapons.

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