The leader of the German SPD, Lars Klingbeil, gave an interview to BILD in Kyiv downtown

Lars Klingbeil, leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), without announcement, arrived in the Ukrainian capital for the first time, one year after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Klingbeil met with a BILD correspondent in the center of Kyiv on the Maidan. Here are the main points of this interview:

“Only the Ukrainian government can decide when negotiations with Russia will start.”

Lars Klingbeil
interview to BILD

▫️ About Russian natural resources

“We must never again fall into such a one-sided dependence [on Russian resources]. I did my part to make the situation clear by admitting [the German government’s] mistakes. Even in the SPD, not everyone was pleased that I was so clear about [these mistakes]. But we were the only ones who recognized them”

▫️ About former chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who was never expelled from the SPD

“It annoys me that he took the wrong political position in this war. I think that as a social democrat, he should very clearly condemn this war. As a social democrat, you cannot support Vladimir Putin. Politically, Gerhard Schroeder is isolated, it was clear from the first day [of the war] – that’s how it will remain”

▫️ On the supply of weapons to Ukraine

“It is crucial for Ukraine that weapons are quickly produced in Europe and delivered to the frontline. [German Chancellor] Olaf Scholz pointed out that Ukraine will receive support as long as it needs it. This is the right path, SPD clearly adheres to it.”

▫️ On the possibility of peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia

“From what moment the negotiations with Russia will start, the Ukrainian government should decide. Currently, it is about strengthening Ukraine in a military sense.”

▫️ On Ukraine joining the EU.

“I have always called on Ukraine to start accession negotiations. It is clear that Ukraine must meet certain standards. There are questions about the Copenhagen criteria—all of them must be met. But from a political point of view, this accession process is very important.”

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