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Zelensky urges Germany to tear down new Russian ‘Wall’ in Europe

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed members of Germany's Bundestag by videolink on Thursday.

GERMANY: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Germany to help destroy a new “Wall” Russia was erecting in Europe, speaking in an emotional video address to Parliament on Thursday.

“It’s not a Berlin Wall — it is a Wall in central Europe between freedom and bondage and this Wall is growing bigger with every bomb” dropped on Ukraine, Zelensky told MPs.

Appearing on a screen in his now trademark khaki T-shirt with dark circles under his eyes, Zelensky was welcomed by MPs in the Bundestag lower house with a standing ovation.

In a speech steeped in historical imagery from Germany’s triumph over its Cold War division, Zelensky addressed Chancellor Olaf Scholz directly with a call for greater solidarity with Ukraine.

“Dear Mr Scholz, tear down this Wall,” he implored, evoking US President Ronald Reagan’s 1987 appeal to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

“Give Germany the leadership role that you in Germany deserve.”

Zelensky stressed that the future of the continent was at stake in the current war and argued that governments across the West were failing to meet the moment.

“Every year politicians repeat ‘never again’,” the Ukrainian leader said, referring to annual Holocaust commemorations. “And now, we see that these words simply mean nothing. A people is being destroyed in Europe,” he said, noting that 108 children had been killed in his country since the start of the Russian offensive. “Help us stop this war.”

Despite his blunt criticism, MPs gave Zelensky another standing ovation after his 15-minute address and Scholz, in a tweet, thanked him for his “forceful words”.

“We see that Russia is continuing every day to wage its cruel war, with horrible losses,” he said.

“We feel obliged to do everything we can so that diplomacy has a chance and the war can be stopped.” – THE HINDUSTAN TIMES

Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 01:00

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