HomeTop StoriesPutin is taking advantage of German fear, says former president

Putin is taking advantage of German fear, says former president

Germans are too scared in their dealings with the Russian president Vladimir Putinsaid former President Joachim Gauck in remarks published by the RND news agency on Saturday.

“Putin knows that many Germans are more afraid than, for example, the Poles or the French, and he is exploiting this tendency,” said Gauck, who was president between 2012 and 2017. “Fear is a tool for the aggressor.”

Gauck, a former Lutheran pastor in communist East Germany who played a key role as a rights activist in the run-up to German reunification in 1990, said fear prevented people from seeing possible solutions to problems.

He argued that chancellor Olaf Scholz should reconsider its refusal to supply Ukraine with Germany’s Taurus long-range cruise missiles and reject the view that this would draw Germany into the war in Ukraine.

He noted that international law experts, military experts and many members of the ruling coalition did not share Scholz’s views on the issue. Kiev has called on Berlin to send the missiles, which reportedly have a range of 500 kilometers.

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The issue has been the subject of intense debate, with Scholz expressing fears that targets deep within Russia could be hit if Berlin were to hand over control of the targets to Kiev. Moscow would theoretically be within reach of northern Ukraine, as would the Crimean Bridge connecting the peninsula to Russia.

Gauck enjoys considerable status as a voice of moral authority in Germany after investigating the archives of the Stasi, East Germany’s infamous Ministry of State Security, as a government commissioner.

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