We declare our full solidarity with Ukraine. We stand by the side of our Ukrainian partners and colleagues, and at the same time also by the side of our partners in Russian civil society who are under harsh state repression.
Putin's brutal and apparently long-planned war of aggression against Ukraine is a coldly calculated, historic breach of taboo in the center of Europe. Regardless of the humanitarian and political consequences, the Russian regime is attacking the framework of common values and security that has underpinned one of the longest periods of peace and prosperity in Europe's history since 1945. With absurd arguments, bizarre historical analogies and drastic threats, it cynically destroys basic trust in the rationality of political and state action in Europe. In this bloody tragedy, Europe's entire solidarity in word and deed must be directed to Ukraine and its citizens - this must now be demonstrated all the more in rapid and unbureaucratic aid and support in this unfolding humanitarian catastrophe.
Europe, the West, and above all, in an inglorious manner, Germany, have deliberately suppressed the extent of the threat for years - also out of economic and energy policy convenience and opportunism, and against the unmistakable warning voices of some of our EU partner and neighboring countries. The challenges and costs of strategic reorientation are enormous at all levels. But today has shown that there is no way around it. All available sanctions measures that can actually have an impact must now be taken, and above all, they must be consistently upheld by all allies, if necessary, for years to come. This will have its price for all of us, but let’s be clear: since this morning, the highest price is paid by the Ukrainians.
We declare our full solidarity with Ukraine. We stand by the side of our Ukrainian partners and colleagues and, at the same time, by the side of our partners in Russian civil society who are under harsh state repression.
This article was first published on 24 February 2022.