Germany spurns UK claims that Scholz encouraged Ukraine surrender
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of lying after claiming Germany encouraged Ukraine to surrender to Russia within days of the invasion.
German government accuse Johnson of lying
The German government has rejected claims by Boris Johnson that it supported a Ukrainian surrender in the lead up to Putin’s illegal invasion. In an interview broadcast on CNN, Johnson illustrated the political climate among European leaders in the run-up to the Russian invasion. “I’ll tell you a terrible thing,” he said, “The German view was, at one stage, that if [the invasion] were going to happen, which would be a disaster, then it would be better for the whole thing to be over quickly and for Ukraine to fold.”
Making his opposition to the German perspective retrospectively clear, he added, “I couldn’t support that, I thought that was a disastrous way of looking at it.”
The German government was quick to respond to Johnson’s claims in words he could easily understand. In a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday a spokesperson told reporters in a German-English message, “Ich wäre jetzt fast versucht zu sagen auf Englisch umzuschwenken und sagen das ist “utter nonsense”, was Boris Johnson da geäußert hat.” (“I am almost tempted to switch to English and say that what Boris Johnson said is “utter nonsense".")
Another politely packaged jibe came from a spokesperson for Olaf Scholz: "We know that the very entertaining former prime minister always has a unique relationship with the truth; this case is no exception.” The comment was likely a reference to Boris Johnson's behaviour during the COVID pandemic, when he was accused of lying to parliament about holding multiple large events and parties while the UK was in lockdown and hospitals were overwhelmed with patients
In the wake of Johnson’s claims Scholz has said he believes Putin can no longer conquer Ukraine. “[Putin] can no longer win on the battlefield, that much seems clear," Scholz said on Wednesday, before making a plea to the Russian dictator to cease his “senseless killing and withdraw [his] troops”.
Ukrainian former ambassador claims Germany expected defeat
Though the German government has angrily rejected Johnson's claims, they hold some similarity to previous statements made by the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany. Back in March, Andriy Melnyk, who was ambassador at the time, claimed on Twitter that, “On 14 February we were warning German politicians: "Kyiv may be bombed in the coming days! We urgently need 12.000 anti-tank rockets from Germany." In response: just mockery. So sad. So furious.”
Melnyk also claimed that FDP leader and finance minister Christian Lindner had told him with a smile that Ukraine would likely fall to Russian invasion within hours, after which Lindner would be willing to have discussions with Putin’s regime. Lindner has denied these accusations.