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