Above Photo: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Christophe Gateau / Picture Alliance / Getty Images.
The comments align with Russia’s view that they are fighting against the US and NATO in Ukraine.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Tuesday that Germany and its allies are “fighting a war against Russia” in rare candid remarks about the Western role in the conflict.
Baerbock made the comments at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, while discussing the criticism her government has faced for its hesitancy to send tanks, although that impasse has been broken as Berlin confirmed Wednesday it will send its Leopard 2 tanks.
“And therefore, I’ve said already in the last days — yes, we have to do more to defend Ukraine. Yes, we have to do more also on tanks,” Baerbock said. “But the most important and the crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe, because we are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.”
Baerbock’s remarks align with Russia’s view that it is not just fighting Ukrainian forces in the conflict but also the US and NATO. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov made similar comments recently, saying that Ukraine is “shedding blood” for a “NATO mission.”
The idea that NATO is directly involved in the war signals Russia has the pretext to launch an attack on a NATO country in retaliation if they choose to take that step. There’s no sign that Russia is plotting to do so, but the Western powers continue to risk dangerous escalations as they continue to ramp up military support for Ukraine and as the US is discussing helping Ukraine attack Crimea.