Reasons for Kohl's criticism of Berlin's policy on Russia

Reasons for Kohl's criticism of Berlin's policy on Russia

 

Legendary ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl, who will forever go down in German history as the person who restored the unity of German statehood, has condemned the course of the West concerning Russia. According to information received by the newspaper Sunday Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in a book "Legacy: The Kohl Protocols", the former chancellor criticized the decision of the countries of "the Big Seven" not to invite Russian president Vladimir Putin to a meeting this summer. Helmut Kohl, in his own words, perceived this episode in the West's relations with Moscow as "decisive" and "dismaying."The former head of the German government claims it was only thanks to his efforts in 1998 that Russia was admitted to the group of the major industrial nations of the world. The 84-year-old politician also urges the West, Russia and Ukraine today "not to let go of everything that we have already achieved." The former chancellor doesn't hide his hostility toward the foreign policy conducted by Angela Merkel. However, the personal factor probably wasn't the smallest role played in such a view. After all, Chancellor Angela Merkel established herself in big politics precisely for being one of the most entrusted members of the political team of Helmut Kohl. In German political circles Merkel, who worked in Kohl's office from 1991 to 1998, was called "Kohl's girl" (Kohls Mädchen) then. But in 1998, when a controversy in connection with illegal financial contributions to the CDU in the period from 1993 to 1998 hit the 25-year presidency of Kohl's party, the "girl" brightly showed her political ambitions, having ruthlessly dismissed the head of the party administration and having held the post of secretary general.Merkel personally hammered the last "nail" in the political career of Kohl in 2000, having compelled him to resign from the post of Honorary Chairman of party. After that, as we know, she triumphantly declared to a journalist: "Well, admit it! You didn't think that I would be able to take the honorary presidency from him!" At the same time, she positions herself as a person of her word and honor. Despite the threat of prosecution, he flatly refused to tell the names of the people making contributions to the CDU in cash: "I pledged my word to these people and I won't violate it." And Kohl did indeed keep his word.This was possible precisely because Helmut Kohl belongs to a generation of politicians of historic scale to whom their pledges matter. To a certain degree he understands the tough response of Moscow to the geopolitical games which are developing round Ukraine. The ex-chancellor thoroughly knows about the promise not to expand NATO to the east, after which the GDR was released from the "Warsaw Pact."However, the instance that Kohl still considers to be low treachery is seen by Merkel as care for the future of her party, which appeared at the center of the row at that time because of the financial machinations of the ex-chancellor. But it is obvious that Helmut Kohl can't forgive Frau Merkel. A few weeks ago the fastidious comments about the current chancellor made by Kohl in the 2000s in conversation with the journalist Heribert Schwan were leaked to the German press: "Frau Merkel couldn't even use a knife and fork properly. She loitered at state dinners so that I had to repeatedly tell her to pull herself together," the retired politician said at the time.

 

Legendary ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl, who will forever go down in German history as the person who restored the unity of German statehood, has condemned the course of the West concerning Russia. According to information received by the newspaper Sunday Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in a book "Legacy: The Kohl Protocols", the former chancellor criticized the decision of the countries of "the Big Seven" not to invite Russian president Vladimir Putin to a meeting this summer. Helmut Kohl, in his own words, perceived this episode in the West's relations with Moscow as "decisive" and "dismaying."

 

The former head of the German government claims it was only thanks to his efforts in 1998 that Russia was admitted to the group of the major industrial nations of the world. The 84-year-old politician also urges the West, Russia and Ukraine today "not to let go of everything that we have already achieved."

 

 The former chancellor doesn't hide his hostility toward the foreign policy conducted by Angela Merkel. However, the personal factor probably wasn't the smallest role played in such a view. After all, Chancellor Angela Merkel established herself in big politics precisely for being one of the most entrusted members of the political team of Helmut Kohl. In German political circles Merkel, who worked in Kohl's office from 1991 to 1998, was called "Kohl's girl" (Kohls Mädchen) then. But in 1998, when a controversy in connection with illegal financial contributions to the CDU in the period from 1993 to 1998 hit the 25-year presidency of Kohl's party, the "girl" brightly showed her political ambitions, having ruthlessly dismissed the head of the party administration and having held the post of secretary general.

 

Merkel personally hammered the last "nail" in the political career of Kohl in 2000, having compelled him to resign from the post of Honorary Chairman of party. After that, as we know, she triumphantly declared to a journalist: "Well, admit it! You didn't think that I would be able to take the honorary presidency from him!" At the same time, she positions herself as a person of her word and honor. Despite the threat of prosecution, he flatly refused to tell the names of the people making contributions to the CDU in cash: "I pledged my word to these people and I won't violate it." And Kohl did indeed keep his word.

 

This was possible precisely because Helmut Kohl belongs to a generation of politicians of historic scale to whom their pledges matter. To a certain degree he understands the tough response of Moscow to the geopolitical games which are developing round Ukraine. The ex-chancellor thoroughly knows about the promise not to expand NATO to the east, after which the GDR was released from the "Warsaw Pact."

 

However, the instance that Kohl still considers to be low treachery is seen by Merkel as care for the future of her party, which appeared at the center of the row at that time because of the financial machinations of the ex-chancellor. But it is obvious that Helmut Kohl can't forgive Frau Merkel. A few weeks ago the fastidious comments about the current chancellor made by Kohl in the 2000s in conversation with the journalist Heribert Schwan were leaked to the German press: "Frau Merkel couldn't even use a knife and fork properly. She loitered at state dinners so that I had to repeatedly tell her to pull herself together," the retired politician said at the time.

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