Olaf Scholz: German Chancellor thrown deep into Russia – “must be at the center” | The world | News

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Russia: Threat of invasion of Ukraine is discussed by Ellwood

Mr. Scholz was announced as the new one German Chancellor on Wednesday, after he managed to secure a coalition agreement between his Social Democratic party, the Greens and the Liberal Free Democrats. This new era ends the book Angela Merkels 16-year premiere. Scholz will have many challenges in the coming years and months, but an immediate threat he will have to deal with is that Russia and its operations in Eastern Europe.

In recent days, Russia has built up its forces along the border with Ukraine, worrying that it may carry out a new invasion.

Nearly 100,000 soldiers are stationed in the border regions near Ukraine, both Kiev and Washington have warned.

Russian-backed separatist forces have also conducted large-scale military exercises in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, according to the intelligence ministry’s defense ministry.

Moscow has denied that it plans to launch an intervention in Ukraine, citing alleged provocations from Kiev and US warships in the Black Sea as reasons for its troop build-up.

Since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula seven years ago, the country has been financing a war in the Donbass, which has killed more than 14,000 people.

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Olaf Scholz warned that Germany must

Olaf Scholz warned that Germany must “be at the heart of Europe” in order to deter Russia (Image: GETTY)

Ukraine: The country's troops in exercises with the United States

Ukraine: The country’s troops in exercises with the United States (Image: GETTY)

In light of the situation in Ukraine, Germany’s new Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been urged to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Germany must be at the “center” of Western efforts to deter Russia, Scholz has warned political expert John Callahan in an interview with Express.co.uk.

Mr Callahan is the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at New England College in the United States and has worked for the US State Department and the intelligence service.

He said: “The whole situation in Eastern Europe, if you want to deter Russia in Eastern Europe, the Americans can help to do it in a certain way, but Germany really has to be at the center of it.

“Without a really tough German response, Russia is brave to act.”

The SPD leader has previously been democratic against Moscow, but the building of Russian troops near Ukraine marks one of his first major political challenges.

Olaf Scholz: Germany's new Federal Chancellor

Olaf Scholz: Germany’s new Federal Chancellor (Image: GETTY)

Like Merkel, he has so far not taken a stand on the controversial Nord Stream 2 management.

The £ 8 billion energy infrastructure project, which has taken five years to complete, will supply Russian gas to Germany.

Scholz has been pressured to scrap the project by its coalition partners, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States and some EU countries.

Callahan said “not surprisingly, the SPD talks a lot about” Nord Stream 2.

He added: “They are looking to get fuel and get it from the east, nor have they been super tough on Russia or China unlike the other parties.”

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Putin: Scholz is urged to take a hard line against the Russian leader

Putin: Scholz is urged to take a hard line against the Russian leader (Image: GETTY)

Mrs Merkel wanted to complete the pipeline and was happy to trade with Russia, as long as there were some issues, according to Callahan,

He said: “There has been an attitude from Germany for a long time, the gas situation for Western Europe seems to be quite asymmetrical with the power in Russia’s hands.

“But for a long time, Germany has said, ‘well, look, it’s going both ways and we can not buy it either.’

“But whether it really is true or not in the middle of winter when people are cold, that’s another question.”

Russia and Ukraine: Military numbers explained

Russia and Ukraine: Military numbers explained (Image: EXPRESS)

As for Ukraine, the expert said he did not think Scholz would “stand by and let things happen”.

He also predicted that a Scholz Chancellery would likely follow a similar foreign policy strategy as Mrs Merkel’s.

The expert said that the “Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Donbass, and the pandemic” were among the “biggest crises” during the outgoing Chancellor’s 16-year term.

He added: “I think she, through her pragmatism, has given a steady hand to the German government, which is something they really long for – yes we all long for it, but the Germans in particular.”

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