Ukraine’s cause is our cause, too!

Foto: Shut­ter­stock

Another Open Letter to Chan­cellor Olaf Scholz.

We would like to draw your attention to a somewhat different Open Letter to Chan­cellor Olaf Scholz, which will be published today: “Ukraine’s cause is our cause too”.

The appeal was signed by a wide range of academics, writers, and other well-known public figures. The signa­tures were collected within 24 hours.

On the inten­tions, Ralf Fücks, one of the initia­tors of the Open Letter, explains:

“After the Bundestag’s decision to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine, a contro­ver­sial debate has flared up about Germany’s attitude towards the Russian war of aggres­sion against Ukraine.  The signa­to­ries call on Chan­cellor Olaf Scholz and the German govern­ment to:

  • Quickly provide Ukraine with all available weapons it needs to repel the Russian invasion;
  • To impose an embargo on Russian energy exports in order to deprive the regime of the financial means for war;
  • To give Ukraine a binding prospect of joining the European Union.

Ukraine is also fighting for our security and demo­c­ratic Europe. We owe it every support for this. Anyone who wants a peace worthy of the name must strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself and weaken Russia’s ability to wage war. At the same time, this war is a touch­stone for our histor­ical oblig­a­tion to do every­thing possible to prevent new crimes against humanity.”

Those wishing to join the Open Letter can do so via

Press contact:

Oliver Geheeb
T +49 30 577125819

Ukraine’s cause is our cause, too. — Another Open Letter to Chan­cellor Olaf Scholz.

Dear Mr. Chancellor,

at the May Day rally in Düssel­dorf, against whistles and shouts of protest, you reaf­firmed your will to support Ukraine, including with arms supplies, so that it can success­fully defend itself. We welcome your clear words and encourage you to quickly implement the Bundestag reso­lu­tion for arms deliv­eries to Ukraine.

Because of the concen­tra­tion of Russian troops in the east and south of Ukraine, the continued bombing of civilians, the system­atic destruc­tion of infra­struc­ture, the human­i­tarian emergency with more than ten million refugees and the economic destruc­tion of Ukraine as a result of the war, every day counts. It does not take any special military expertise to realize that the differ­ence between “defensive” and “offensive” weapons is a moot point: In the hands of the attacked, tanks and howitzers are also defensive weapons because they serve self-defence.

Anyone who wants a nego­ti­ated peace that does not amount to Ukraine’s submis­sion to Russian demands must strengthen the country’s defensive potential and weaken Russia’s offensive potential to the maximum. This requires continued supply of weapons and ammu­ni­tion to turn the military balance in Ukraine’s favour. And it requires the extension of economic sanctions to the Russian energy sector, which is the Putin regime’s financial lifeline.

It is in Germany’s interest to prevent the Russian war of aggres­sion from succeeding. Those who attack the European order, trample on inter­na­tional law and commit massive war crimes must not leave the battle­field as victors. Putin’s declared goal was and is the destruc­tion of Ukraine’s national inde­pen­dence. At the first attempt, this attempt failed due to the deter­mined resis­tance and the will­ing­ness of Ukrainian society to make sacri­fices. The now proclaimed goal of an expanded Russian sphere of power from Kharkiv to Odesa is also unacceptable.

To forcibly redraw borders means to destroy the European order, in whose foun­da­tion your party played a major role. It is based on the renun­ci­a­tion of violence, the sovereign equality of all states and the recog­ni­tion of human rights as the basis for peaceful coex­is­tence and coop­er­a­tion in Europe. It is therefore not contrary to Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik to support Ukraine today, even with weapons, in order to defend these principles.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is at the same time an attack on European security. The Kremlin’s demands for a reor­ga­ni­za­tion of Europe, formu­lated in the run-up to the invasion, speak a clear language. If Putin’s armed revi­sionism in Ukraine succeeds, the danger grows that the next war will take place on NATO territory. And if a nuclear power gets away with attacking a country that has surren­dered its nuclear weapons in exchange for inter­na­tional security guar­an­tees, that consti­tutes a serious blow to nuclear non-proliferation.

What the Russian lead­er­ship fears is not the imaginary threat from NATO. It is much more afraid of the demo­c­ratic awakening in its neigh­bour­hood. Hence, the teaming up with Belaru­sian dictator Lukashenko, hence the furious attempt to force­fully stop Ukraine’s path towards democracy and Europe. No other country had to pay a higher price to become part of a demo­c­ratic Europe. Because of this, Ukraine deserves a binding prospect of accession to the European Union.

The threat of nuclear war is part of Russia’s psycho­log­ical warfare. Never­the­less, we do not take it lightly. Every war carries the risk of esca­la­tion to the extreme. But the danger of nuclear war cannot be removed by making conces­sions to the Kremlin that will only encourage more military adven­tures. If the West were to shy away from supplying conven­tional weapons to Ukraine and thus bow to Russian threats, this would encourage further aggres­sion from the Kremlin. The danger of nuclear esca­la­tion must be countered by credible deter­rence. This requires deter­mi­na­tion and unity of Europe and the West instead of Germany choosing a path of its own.

There are good reasons to avoid a direct military confronta­tion with Russia. But this cannot and must not mean that the defence of Ukraine’s inde­pen­dence and freedom is not our business. It is also an indicator of how serious we are about the German “never again”. German history demands every effort to prevent renewed wars of expulsion and exter­mi­na­tion. This is all the more true for Ukraine, a country where the Wehrmacht and the SS raged with all their brutality.

Today, Ukraine is also fighting for our security and the funda­mental values of a free Europe. That is why we, Europe, must not let down Ukraine.

Anyone who would like to sign this Open Letter can do so via

First signa­to­ries:

Stephan Anpalagan, Gerhart Baum, Marieluise Beck, Marie von den Benken, Maxim Biller, Helene von Bismarck, Marianne Birthler, Prof. Tanja Börzel, Wigald Boning, Hans Christoph Buch, Mathias Döpfner, Prof. Sabine Döring, Thomas Enders, Fritz Felgen­treu, Michel Friedman, Ralf Fücks, Marjana Gaponenko, Eren Güvercin, Rebecca Harms, Wolfgang Ischinger, Olga Kaminer, Wladimir Kaminer, Dimitrij Kapitel­mann, Daniel Kehlmann, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, Gerald Knaus, Gerd Koenen, Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk, Remko Leemhuis, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnar­ren­berger, Igor Levit, Sascha Lobo, Wolf Lotter, Ahmad Mansour, Marko Martin, Jagoda Marinić, Prof. Carlo Masala, Markus Meckel, Eva Menasse, Herta Müller, Prof. Armin Nassehi, Ronya Othmann, Ruprecht Polenz, Gerd Poppe, Antje Ravik Strubel, Prof. Hedwig Richter, Prof. Thomas Risse, Prof. Gwendolyn Sasse, Prof. Karl Schlögel, Peter Schneider, Linn Selle, Constanze Stelzen­müller, Funda Tekin, Sebastian Turner, Marina Weisband, Deniz Yücel, Prof. Michael Zürn

ViSdP: Ralf Fücks, Zentrum Liberale Moderne, Rein­hardtstr. 15, 10117 Berlin

Download the Open Letter