German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin had dismantled many people’s view of the modern world.
He said Putin was like the old imperialists who thought “you can just take your neighbors’ territory”.
Russia’s war in Ukraine changed the landscape in Europe, with Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the idea that the world has overtaken countries by invading their neighbors was dismantled by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Scholz was speaking during an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday when moderator Margaret Brennan asked if the war was a 9/11-level wake-up call for Europe.
“I think too many people around the world hoped that we were living in a different world, different from the experiences of the last century and centuries before, where might and power decided the future of countries and not rules and agreements. we have between states,” he began.
“We had an agreement that there should be no attempt to change territory, change borders, invade the neighbor. And that agreement is now canceled by Putin,” Scholz said, adding that it was a “decisive moment in international politics”. “
When Brennan asked him whether or not he thought Europe and Germany had been too complacent, he said they should have been prepared for that eventuality.
“What is Putin thinking? He thinks like the imperialists of the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries,” Scholz said. “He thinks that everything about the nation is power, and if you’re powerful enough, you can just take territory from your neighbors. And that’s an activity and an idea that we can’t accept and that we we won’t accept.”
He said he thinks all Western leaders can do to dissuade Putin is to convince him it’s not working and he won’t succeed.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had repercussions throughout Europe. For example, Scholz said Germany had changed its approach to international relations, including its strategy of never sending arms to a country in conflict. The country delivered heavy weapons to Ukraine last month after criticism that it was refusing aid.
Finland and Sweden are also set to join NATO after Putin’s invasion led to the two countries continuing to join the alliance.
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