Enlarge image

Gregor Gysi in a top-level interview with SPIEGEL


The left-wing politician Gregor Gysi has outlined a plan for a ceasefire in Ukraine followed by peace negotiations. "The West could - of course after consultation with the Ukrainian government - say: We will no longer deliver weapons to Ukraine in 48 hours if Russia agrees to a ceasefire in 48 hours," said Gysi in a top-level SPIEGEL conversation with political scientist Claudia Major and the SPIEGEL reporter Christoph Reuter and presenter Markus Feldenkirchen.

“If Putin then says no, he says: Keep supplying weapons. That will be difficult for him. If he says yes, we will first have a ceasefire and then negotiations will have to begin. Then third parties would have to start mediating.

Given the trench warfare in Ukraine, this is the right time to call for a ceasefire and negotiations. »Russia will not be able to conquer all of Ukraine. I think they have now understood that themselves.” Ukraine must also realize this. "If you can't get the Donbass region back militarily, then you can only get it back through peace negotiations."

You shouldn't wait too long, warns Gysi. »If we wait until Trump is US President – ​​he will then end the war, but to the serious disadvantage of Ukraine. Now we could try to set conditions so that Ukraine under no circumstances has to give up territory in peace negotiations.”

Gysi also criticizes the way of thinking in the West that it is only about arms deliveries. »We only think in terms of war. And I would like us to start thinking again about how we can get to a ceasefire and a peace.”

Gregor Gysi rejects pressure on Ukrainians capable of military service in Germany

Gysi also criticizes calls from the CDU to cut social benefits for Ukrainians of military age so that they can return to their homeland and no longer avoid military service. »Then they find other ways. If you take away something, you always have to accept that people will then tend to do other things in order to be able to survive their lives to some extent," said Gysi in the SPIEGEL talk.

Ukrainians between the ages of 18 and 60, i.e. of military age, are not allowed to leave their country. Nevertheless, there are around 200,000 Ukrainian men of this age group living in Germany and an estimated 600,000 in the entire EU. Gysi doubts the military benefit if Germany were to send these men back. "People who don't want to fight are not particularly suitable as soldiers because they lack the will to fight."

The left-wing politician also rules out a violent repatriation. "I don't want to force anyone to take part in a war."