Ukraine war: Merkel says she lacked power to influence Putin

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her policy towards Russia prior to the February invasion of Ukraine, saying she had run out of power to influence Vladimir Putin.

She said she had tried to convene European talks with the Russian president and French President Emmanuel Macron in the summer of 2021.

“But I didn’t have the power to get my way,” she told Spiegel news.

“Really everyone knew: in autumn she’ll be gone,” she said.

After four terms as chancellor Mrs Merkel left office in December. She paid a final visit to Moscow in August 2021, and told the German news magazine that “the feeling was very clear: ‘In terms of power politics you’re finished’.”

She added that “for Putin, only power counts”.

It was significant that, for their final meeting, Mr Putin brought Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with him, she said. Previously they had met one-to-one, she noted.

In light of President Putin’s invasion – preceded by weeks of massive military build-up on Ukraine’s…

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