Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has highlighted the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine as a singular event.

"Russia's aggression against Ukraine is the greatest catastrophe of our time," he said on Friday at an event hosted by the Overseas Club in Hamburg.

“The world after this war of aggression and annihilation will not be the same as before.

It already isn't anymore.”

"Russia's cruel war of aggression and annihilation" marks a radical break with the European peace order after the end of the Cold War, Scholz stated.

At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin “and his regime” would also “break with civilisation”.

It was "a willful exit from the world community that few in the 21st century thought possible".

Scholz pointed out that "a great many clever minds" would have considered such an escalation impossible because of the close international ties after 1989.

"From a rational point of view, the close interdependence of national economies has long since made armed conflicts so expensive that no actor should think of resorting to this method."

Scholz wants to stick to globalization

However, any “rational cost-benefit logic” comes to nothing “where irrational actors, out of ideological blindness, throw the idea of ​​cooperation to the wind,” said Scholz.

"That's exactly what has happened now." Putin's "imperialist and revanchist ideology of Russian power and Russian greatness" meant "more than the well-being of his own people" to the Russian president.

Scholz again emphasized the federal government's solidarity with Ukraine.

"We provide Ukraine with any support that we can give and at the same time take responsibility for," he said - including with weapons so that Ukraine can defend itself.

"Against the background of our German history, on the one hand this is anything but self-evident - but on the other hand it is also logical."

"Putin must not win this criminal war of aggression against Ukraine - and he will not win this war either," said Scholz.

“If Putin gets away with it, there is a risk of international rulelessness.

For that reason alone, Russia must not have the upper hand.”

At the same time, the chancellor warned against using the war as an opportunity to reverse globalization and isolate oneself.

Germany is benefiting from globalization: "Trade creates jobs", also in Germany.

"That's why I say with all clarity: 'deglobalization' doesn't work."

What is needed, however, is a "smarter", "sustainable" and "solidarity" globalization.

Clear rules must apply, consideration must be given to “the limitations of natural resources and future generations” and globalization must benefit “all citizens everywhere”.

When it comes to climate protection, more cooperation is needed, not less.

The overseas club, at whose event Scholz spoke, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The Hamburg association sees itself as a forum for the exchange of business, politics, culture and science.

Chancellor's televised address planned

On the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the end of the Second World War on May 8th, Scholz gave a television speech.

As the deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann announced on Friday in Berlin, the declaration should be broadcast on Sunday evening.

She referred to the special nature of the memorial day this year.

Like no other day, May 8 stands for the “never again” of a world war, said Hoffmann.

That's what the TV speech will be about.

With the capitulation of the then German Reich on May 8, 1945, the Second World War ended in Europe.

As Hoffmann further announced, Scholz will initially exchange views on the situation in Ukraine in a video conference with the other G7 countries on this historic date.

According to the information, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj will also be connected.

Russia commemorates the victory of the then Soviet Union against the Hitler regime on May 9th.

The security authorities also have a special eye on events in Germany for this day, as a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said.

Various events and demonstrations have been registered.

Scholz also addressed the population on the first day of the Russian attack on February 24th via television.

The chancellor was recently accused of not explaining clearly enough publicly the position of the federal government, among other things, on arms deliveries to Ukraine.

However, Scholz looks for TV appearances more often than his predecessor Angela Merkel (CDU).

Outside of the annual New Year's speech, Merkel only made one additional statement on television at the beginning of the corona pandemic.

In the first five months of his term as chancellor, Scholz was also seen more often in TV interviews than Merkel in comparable periods.

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