Putin must be branded a war criminal

Statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Putin’s war against Ukraine is a European cata­strophe and an attack on the funda­mental values of the European community: freedom, national sover­eignty, renun­ci­a­tion of violence and the invi­o­la­bility of borders. Putin’s call for the “denaz­i­fi­ca­tion” of Ukraine and the overthrow of an allegedly “ille­git­i­mate govern­ment” is an unprece­dented cynicism. This tragedy was also long in the making. German and European politi­cians have far too long turned a blind eye to the Kremlin’s violent policies.

With our policy of appease­ment and growing depen­dence on Russian gas and oil we have been feeding a monster. Now the West must respond united and employ the full arsenal of sanctions against Russia’s energy and financial sectors. Putin must be branded a war criminal, Russia isolated polit­i­cally and econom­i­cally. Any hesi­ta­tion and half-heart­ed­ness only strengthens Russian aggres­sion. Beyond this, we must completely reorient our security and energy policies. We must be prepared to bear the costs necessary to defend Europe’s political order.