With the continuous escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the continuous assistance of Western countries to Ukraine, the relationship between Russia and Western countries has continued to cool down, and the mutual contact has been greatly reduced. Not long ago, Russia expelled a number of Swedish diplomats in Russia and closed the Swedish consulate in St. Petersburg in Russia. However, this situation of high confrontation between the two sides does not seem to continue, and the relationship between Russia and the West is likely to be restored to a certain extent in the short term. According to a number of foreign media reports reprinted by “Reference News” on May 26, the German chancellor is planning to have a phone call with Putin at the right time, and the topic of their conversation will focus on the Ukrainian issue. Then the Russian side also stated that it was open to talking with Scholz.
german chancellor cholz
On May 25 local time, Scholz accepted an interview with German media. When talking about the relationship between Germany and Russia, he said that he had not spoken to Putin for a long time. The last time the two talked on the phone was in December last year. On the 2nd, he hoped that he could hold a conference call with Putin at “the right time” to discuss the Ukraine issue. Scholz also stressed that Russia and Ukraine will eventually reach a peace agreement. On the 26th, the Russian side also responded to Scholz’s remarks. The Russian side stated: Although Russia did not know that Scholz wanted to talk to Putin on the phone, as long as necessary, Putin will protect Russia’s interests and the West. Leaders call. As for details such as when Scholz will talk to Putin on the phone and what will be discussed in this conference call, Peskov said he does not yet have it.
russian president putin
After half a year, Germany, the leader of the European Union, is about to talk to Russia again, which may symbolize that Europe’s views on the Russia-Ukraine conflict are changing. There may be three factors that prompted Germany to take the initiative to call Russia.
The first point is economic factors. On May 24, relevant German authorities released data showing that Germany’s GDP grew by 0.3% in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Germany’s GDP fell by 0.5%, and GDP growth has been negative for two consecutive quarters. The German economy is already in a technical recession. We know that Germany’s economic prosperity is based on cheap Russian energy. If it cannot ease relations with Russia, it is impossible for Germany to escape economic recession.
Russia has occupied Bakhmut
The second point is the military factor. Not long ago, Russia captured the military town of Bakhmut. This event symbolized the Russian-Ukrainian tug-of-war that lasted for more than eight months ended in Russia’s victory. Many military experts believe that the failure of the Ukrainian army in Bakhmut means that although the Ukrainian army has received a lot of assistance, it is still unable to defeat the Russian army head-on. Now the West is waiting for the end of the so-called “summer counter-offensive” of the Ukrainian army. However, considering the past performance of the Ukrainian army, the West is not very confident about whether the Ukrainian army can win the counterattack. So although the West has been saying “will always support Ukraine”, in fact, they also have to prepare for the complete defeat of the Ukrainian army in the summer counteroffensive.
The third point may be China’s influence. Recently, my country’s special representative Li Hui arrived in the German capital and met with Michael Ellis, State Secretary of the German Foreign Ministry. The Chinese representative pointed out: To resolve the Russia-Ukraine issue and resolve the conflicts between the two sides, all parties must start from themselves, and create good conditions for the resumption of negotiations through the accumulation of mutual trust. Michaelis said that he is willing to work with China to enhance communication and exchanges at all levels and promote a peaceful solution to the crisis. Perhaps it was because the German side listened to China’s advice that Scholz offered to talk to Putin on the phone.
At the beginning of 2022, the leaders of Germany and Russia attended the press conference together
However, the political mutual trust between Germany and Russia has been almost destroyed in the game of more than a year. Germany not only actively joined the sanctions against Russia, but also provided Ukraine with a large number of Leopard-2 main battle tanks, and authorized other countries to transfer their own Leopard-2 tank aid to Ukraine. What disappointed Russia even more was that at the end of last year, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that the reason she brought Russia and Ukraine to the “Minsk Agreement” in 2015 was not to bridge the conflict between the two countries, but to win Ukraine’s military reorganization. Time to prepare.
Merkel’s deception made Russia very angry and disappointed
After the “Minsk Agreement” was reached, Germany never supervised the implementation, and tacitly condoned Ukraine’s violation of the agreement. These remarks directly shattered Russia’s illusions about Germany and completely destroyed Russia’s trust in Germany. Prior to this, Putin also frequently talked with the leaders of Germany and France. But after that, Putin never talked to the leaders of Germany and France again, which shows how much this matter hurts Russia. This series of events has made it difficult for Russia to trust Germany now. Even if Putin and Scholz talk on the phone, I am afraid they will only talk about each other, and it will be difficult to achieve any substantive results. Even if a result is reached, Russia will worry whether the result of this conversation will become a dead letter like the “Minsk Agreement”.
But in any case, it is always optimistic news that the communication channels between Russia and the West will be opened up again. Even if the conversation between Putin and Scholz does not reach an agreement this time, it can also lay the foundation for future negotiations between Russia and the West. China’s attitude towards the Russia-Ukraine conflict has always been to persuade peace and promote talks. The phone call between Putin and Scholz was a key step on the road to a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.