How can Germany contribute to perhaps preventing a war between Russia and Ukraine?
There are two contradictory theories on this:
Some say: by supplying weapons to Ukraine so that this country can better defend itself.
Others share the opinion of Annalena Baerbock, who says: no weapons, but economic pressure that may still be able to deter Putin from a military attack.
So can the conflict still be resolved peacefully, even though Russia has deployed one hundred thousand troops on the border with Ukraine?
What does history teach us?
For 2,000 years, the ancient Roman principle of “Si vis pacem, para bellum – If you want peace, prepare for war – has applied in politics.”
The result of this policy is well known: Again and again wars, mass murder, destruction and endless suffering for the people, who nevertheless want peace in the majority. Wars are always waged by those who are least affected by them.
How can we finally break this vicious circle?
We must overcome this old motto “Whoever wants peace must prepare for war” and turn it from its head to its feet. Then it will be like this: “Whoever wants peace must prepare peace.”
Three suggestions for this:
First: Annalena Baerbock is right when she says: Dialogue has “absolute priority.” And: “Who talks, does not shoot”.
Second: A look at the map shows that the West has to pay more attention to Russia’s security interests than before. Mikhail Gorbachev says: One problem for Russia is that after 1990 the West played itself up as the victor in the Cold War.
Third: Russia must also recognize Ukraine’s security interests and the inviolability of its borders.
Both sides are still willing to negotiate on this. War must also be avoided because any conventional war can lead to nuclear war.
In this regard, Mikhail Gorbachev says in our jointly written book: “Listen to reason – War no more!: An Appeal from Mikhail Gorbachev to the world”: “Among all problems, there is nothing more important than the liberation of mankind from weapons of mass destruction.
As long as nuclear weapons exist, the danger that they will be used remains. Be it by accident, a technical malfunction or even an evil human will. Therefore, we must vigorously pursue the goal of banning and destroying nuclear weapons. This is our duty.
I will not tire of repeating: This goal can be achieved only under the condition of demilitarized politics and demilitarized international relations. Politicians who believe that problems and disputes can be solved by the use of military force – even if only as a last resort – should be rejected by society, they should clear the political stage.
Non-violence in international relations and peaceful conflict resolution must become core issues in the body of international law.
Another imperative of our globalized world is that politics and ethics must be united.”
Staying in dialogue on these issues is the most important thing now.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)