Open Letter to Chancellor Scholz

Protect Europe.
Stop the Moscow arsonist.
Supply Ukraine with all the weapons it needs.


published in „Tagesspiegel“ on Dec 8th 2023

Dear Mr Chancellor,

We have the impression that your policy is helping to expose our country and the whole of Europe to a very serious danger: the danger of being destabilised and permanently de-democratised by the Russian Federation.

You rejected the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles urgently requested by Ukraine in May 2023 against the advice of experienced military experts and despite the contrary practice of our most important allies. The Ukrainian counter-offensive is now in a difficult phase. With the help of terrorist regimes such as Iran and North Korea, Russia is evidently in a position to continuously supply its armed forces with large quantities of weapons and ammunition.

But it is no longer “just” about Ukraine. It has long been apparent that the number of trouble spots in an eastern semi-circle around Europe has been growing for around 15 years. And there is not the slightest doubt as to who the arsonist is:

  • In 2008, Russian troops invade Georgia and occupy parts of the country.
  • The civil war in Syria begins in 2011, in which Russia intervenes on the side of the Assad regime with barbaric cruelty.
  • In 2014, Russia annexes Crimea and launches its war in Donbass. 
  • For years, Russia has been smuggling migrants into the European Union via the loyal Lukashenko regime in order to fuel conflicts between EU member states and strengthen Eurosceptic parties.
  • In 2022, Russia then invaded the whole of Ukraine and committed unimaginable crimes against the civilian population. Since then, Vladimir Putin has been wanted on an international arrest warrant.
  • For some time now, several countries in the Sahel region – Mali, Burkina Faso and most recently Niger – have been rocked by pro-Russian coups.

In view of this list, we ask ourselves: what more evidence is needed before your federal government publicly admits that the Russian Federation is systematically setting fire to free Europe?

And the situation is actually much more serious. Because the threat is by no means just military. Disinformation, election manipulation, hacker attacks, financing far-right parties, instigating unrest, sending out financially strong oligarchs to buy up important Western economic assets: There is almost no method of destabilisation that the Putin regime does not use. It is probably beyond imagination to  oversee the entire destructive arsenal of Russian “foreign policy”.

Mr Chancellor, please be aware that there is not much time left.

The consequences of the far too long favourable attitude of German politics – including your party – towards Russia cannot be drawn years later. You will have to go one step further now. After all, a merely selective approach to the aforementioned areas of conflict does not do justice to the strength of the Russian attack. Russia is waging a cultural war against the free, democratic West. This battle is being waged in all places and by all means. And we must assert ourselves in this cultural struggle if we do not want to lose our freedom.

After all, the devastating political consequences of Western weakness have barely penetrated the public consciousness. If Russia succeeds in tightening the ring of war and terror around Europe even more and provokes further refugee flows, a dangerous feedback loop will appear: many people will then turn to far-right parties out of fear of uncontrolled migration – which, in turn, sympathise with Russia. The circle would close and our freedom would be lost.

That is why we are appealing to you urgently today, Mr Chancellor:

  • Publicly state that the Russian Federation has started a cultural war against the free West, in which we must and will defend our freedom with all necessary means, even unpopular ones if necessary.
  • Make every effort to persuade the (or at least some) member states of the European Union, and France in particular, to adopt a coordinated defence and armaments policy.
  • Supply Ukraine swiftly with the weapons systems it has requested, in particular Taurus cruise missiles.

It should be a matter of course that we do not stall the Ukrainians, who are also fighting for their freedom, for months on end. After all, the complete liberation of Ukraine is the key tool towards effectively stopping Putin’s strategy of encirclement.

Lead the way, Mr Chancellor. Now.