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"So particularly dangerous because it confirms Putin's exact narrative"

Germany, a direct party in the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine? The federal government has been trying to prevent this impression for months.

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"So particularly dangerous because it confirms Putin's exact narrative"

Germany, a direct party in the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine? The federal government has been trying to prevent this impression for months. But a cabinet member shot across social media. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wrote on Twitter at the weekend: "We are at war with Putin and not his psychotherapists."

His cabinet and party colleague, Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, tried to quickly catch the statement again. The government's position was unchanged, she promised in the ARD program "Report from Berlin".

Neither Germany nor NATO would become warring parties. The federal government guided this principle from the beginning. And that hasn't changed either.” The media in Romania, Spain, Poland and Turkey, among others, had long reported on the statements made by the German minister.

According to the opposition in the German Bundestag, Lauterbach and Lambrecht also provided another example of the desolate state of the traffic light government. "War rhetoric may be applauded here and there, but it is irresponsible," said Dietmar Bartsch, leader of the Left Party.

The parliamentary manager of the Union faction, Thorsten Frei (CDU), criticized the "frivolous and irresponsible communication on questions of war and peace, which weighs heavily on the traffic light". Frei appealed to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), who left Lauterbach's statement uncommented, to finally put his health minister to the test. “He should concentrate on his ministry. There is more than enough to do there,” said Frei WELT.

The left also accuses Lauterbach of irresponsible behavior. “Once again chaos communication in the federal government. Everyone talks what they feel like doing," said Bartsch. Members of the government should not communicate as carelessly as Lauterbach did again. Bartsch suggested that the minister should rather take care of the overload situation of many health care workers "instead of doing something important".

The parliamentary group leader of the AfD, Alice Weidel, spoke of "warmongering". The federal government risked imprudently embroiling Germany in a third world war. The fact that the Chancellor remained silent, "instead of calling this otherwise overwhelmed minister to order and dismissing it, shows once again that Olaf Scholz himself is at the forefront of the problem".

Both the Greens and the SPD did not want to comment on the tweet. The SPD parliamentary group said that Minister Lambrecht had said everything that was necessary. The defense policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, MP Alexander Müller, clearly reprimanded the minister of the coalition partner.

The claim that we are at war with Putin is particularly dangerous because it confirms Putin's very narrative. The federal government must not allow this to go unchallenged, and I am grateful to the defense minister for that.”

Germany is not at war with Putin and will not risk it either. However, the Federal Republic supports a country that is being brutally attacked through no fault of its own, so that it can drive out the attacker completely. "But no German soldiers will be sent to Ukrainian territory, not even in the future."

Lauterbach wanted to reject author Richard David Precht's suggestion that individual NATO states should guarantee Russia that Ukraine would not be admitted to NATO. This should prepare the ground for negotiations to end Russia's war of aggression against the country.

"Let's be honest: What should kneeling before Putin do now?" Lauterbach then asked. “The victory in the form of the liberation of Ukraine must be consistently pursued. It doesn't matter whether Putin's psyche can handle it."

Lauterbach visited Ukrainian hospitals in June and, according to his own statements, was deeply affected by what he experienced. He spoke to Der Spiegel about “incomprehensible crimes that Putin is committing here. Just have legs and heads shot off. Just bomb in there until nothing moves. This is madness.”

Lauterbach is one of the most diligent Twitter writers among Germany's politicians. His channel points to its private character. But critics complain that his quotes can still be understood as a government representative's position.

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or directly via RSS feed.

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