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AfD submits motion to Bundestag to end war in Ukraine

The AfD introduced a peace plan for Ukraine to the Bundestag. A classical music concert featuring Russian composers organized by the party underscored their demands.

Published: February 9, 2023, 6:48 am

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    The Bundestag will discuss a motion in which the AfD parliamentary group today called for a German peace initiative to end the Ukraine war. It is “high time that the federal government remembered Germany’s responsibility for peace in Europe and finally acted more actively for the end of hostilities and for peace,” it said.

    AfD members Tino Chrupalla, Alexander Gauland, and Matthias Moosdorf presented the AfD motion “Living up to Germany’s responsibility for peace in Europe”.

    Germany has all but given up its role “as a neutral mediator in international conflicts and has passed on the costs to the uninvolved German people, who are now confronted with price increases and an uncertain energy supply,” it added.

    Instead, Berlin should emphatically advocate that an international peace delegation headed by a representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) be sent to the capitals of the two warring parties.

    First draft on Crimea criticized

    A first goal must be a ceasefire and the establishment of humanitarian corridors. In the long term, a “privileged EU partnership for Ukraine with a guarantee not to become a member of the NATO military alliance and the EU” could be a possible condition for a peace agreement between Kiev and Moscow. In fact, Ukraine was officially granted candidate status for EU membership last summer.

    In the run-up, the parliamentary group had debated the content and formulations, some of which were very controversial. A first draft was initially removed from the agenda and revised after some heated exchanges of words. Critics were particularly upset by the demand contained therein for “the recognition of Crimea as an integral part of the territory of the Russian Federation by Ukraine and the guarantor powers”.

    The version now presented to the plenary states that the warring parties “could” be proposed to “resolve outstanding issues relating to Crimea and Sevastopol within 15 years through bilateral negotiations between Ukraine and Russia”. The parliamentary group is also in favor of referendums in several oblasts in eastern Ukraine. These would have to take place under the supervision of the United Nations and, moreover, only after all war refugees had returned.

    One dissenting vote

    All in all, a compromise has been reached with the present proposal , which the entire parliamentary group can support, said several MEPs. Among other things, the text was changed so that the war in the Ukraine is now clearly described as a “war of aggression contrary to international law”. In the internal vote, there was only one dissenting voice.

    At the official presentation of the application on Wednesday, parliamentary group leader Tino Chrupalla emphasized the role of the AfD as a “peace party”. It is the only political force to address the concerns of the population that they are being drawn more and more deeply into this conflict without their consent. It was finally time to take that into account, Chrupalla said and criticized the other parties that have been calling for more and more weapons.

    The parliamentary group’s honorary chairman, Alexander Gauland, emphasized however that there could be no solution without a strategy to deliver weapons to Ukraine.

    ‘Radio DDR’ as inspiration for the AfD concert

    Radio wars in Cold War Berlin. An East German poster denouncing RIAS. Photo supplied

    Peace is a “German issue,” said Matthias Moosdorf, a member of the Bundestag and one of the authors of the original motion. The representative from Saxony considered it urgently necessary for the role of the OSCE to be strengthened once more.

    On Wednesday, the foreign affairs working group of the AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag also organized a classical music concert with works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. “With this in mind, we are calling for an end to the fighting in Ukraine and for negotiations to begin immediately on a ceasefire,” said co-organizer Moosdorf.

    The title of the music concert [Dem Frieden Die Freiheit] is notably an old title from a broadcast of Radio DDR.

    Outrage after AfD members appear on Russian TV

    After the Bundestag member Steffen Kotré appeared on the program last week by Vladimir Solovyov, two other AfD mandate holders were on the talk show “60 minutes” on the Russia-1 channel. The program “60 Minutes” is moderated by the Russian journalist Yevgeny Popov.

    During his appearance on Tuesday evening, AfD member of the Bundestag Eugen Schmidt stressed that Russia posed no threat to the world. Schmidt further noted that NATO failed to address legitimate Russian security concerns.

    NATO claims that its eastward expansion never violated western commitments after the fall of the Berlin Wall since there was never a written agreement with the Kremlin that was binding under international law but only verbal promises.

    When heckled by German weekly Spiegel, the AfD parliamentary group said that its members decided “as freely elected members of parliament independently about their cooperation with the media”.

    Schmidt was born in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, which now belongs to Kazakhstan. He is the representative for Germans from Russia in the AfD parliamentary group and a deputy member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Olga Petersen, AfD member in the Hamburg Parliament, also appeared on the show on Tuesday.

    In it, she warned the Russian interlocutors not to rely on Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) refusal to provide further military aid, for example in the form of fighter jets. At the beginning of the conflict, the German government had rejected any kind of interference but soon started supplying weapons to fuel the conflict.

    In fact, after the Russian attack began, Scholz had ruled out NATO intervention in the war.

    In the meantime, several NATO states are supporting Ukraine with heavy weapons in its defense against Russia, but formally they claim not to be parties to the conflict.

    Bystron visits Belarus

    Meanwhile, AfD member of parliament Petr Bystron has also had to put up with accusations of being close to supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bystron recently visited Belarus to meet with NGO Mir as well as with the foreign minister.

    Bystron made a detour to Belarus during a trip to Lithuania in November, the outlet Correctiv and the Lithuanian television broadcaster LRT reported. Lithuanian border authorities do not want to comment officially on this.

    According to the media, Bystron left a written inquiry unanswered. In a direct conversation, he neither wanted to confirm nor deny the trip. However, “several statements from the AfD parliamentary group” confirmed Bystron’s trip to Belarus to the media.

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