German Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock addressed the Bundestag during a budget approval session in Berlin on Wednesday, where she discussed the inflation crisis and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Baerbock criticised Vladimir Putin and Russia for exacerbating the global food crisis, accusing Moscow of ‘opening up existing wounds’ before reiterating Germany’s commitment to global food security through its donations to the World Food Programme.
“I would say it has been a mostly terrible year, Russia has opened up existing wounds even more, especially because of the global food crisis, which is why we are still providing 1 billion in additional funds for relief in this budget, still in the 2022 budget of the global food crisis,” she said.
Then, the German minister commended the Bundestag for choosing to support Ukraine as early as it did, saying ‘there are moments when you have to decide which side you’re on.’
“What counts for me is that we don’t play diplomacy and military engagement off against each other, there are moments in life when you can’t wish for this war to end, there are moments in life when you have to decide which side you’re on, on the side of right or the wrong side, on the side of the attacker or the side of the attacked,” Baerbock said.
“Luckily we made a decision here, as the democratic parties, on February 24th, or rather the weekend after, that we are on the side of Ukraine, on the side of the people of Ukraine. And there too I can say I’m proud to be able to represent this country,” she added.
Baerbock went on to express her sympathy with the emerging discontent in Germany as fuel and energy prices have skyrocketed but stressed the significance of the necessary sacrifices her government had made to stand against a ‘strategy of starvation and freezing’.
“It’s a privilege, to represent a country where the vast majority says it’s not easy with energy prices, it’s incredibly difficult when the food prices are also still rising, where they rightly ask critical questions of their government,” the German minister said.
“This winter we will continue to stand by Ukraine because the bombing will not stop, despite the grain deal, despite diplomacy via Zaporizhia, and targeted infrastructure being attacked and we will not allow the Russian strategy of starvation and freezing to take place.”