Conveniently, the German Foreign Minister brought her Ukrainian colleague back with her from her visit to Kyiv. Because Annalena Baerbock had invited Dmytro Kuleba to travel with her on the plane to Berlin after the train journey from the Ukrainian capital to Poland. There Kuleba met Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens), Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) and important representatives of German parties and parliamentary groups, including the SPD, Union and Greens.
Kuleba will continue from Berlin to Schleswig-Holstein. Because, like his colleague Nicu Popescu from Moldova, he has been invited to the meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Weissenhaus, which Germany is organizing as chairman of the group of the most important industrial nations. Ukraine is fiercely defending itself against Russia’s war of aggression. Moldova lives in the knowledge that it could be the next target. Both guests are likely to be interested in what the G7 countries can do for their support. During her visit to Moldova in March, Baerbock promised help with the care and distribution of the many Ukrainian refugees in the country.
Since the beginning of the war, the body of the major industrial nations has proved to be a powerful instrument for voting and decisions on the containment of Russia, which point beyond NATO. Japan had long been hoping for a compromise with Moscow, hoping to gain concessions in the dispute over the southern Kuril Islands. Now Tokyo has expelled Russian diplomats and supports many of the sanctions.
At the subsequent meeting of NATO foreign ministers, their colleagues from Finland and Sweden, Pekka Haavisto and Ann Linde, will be guests – shortly after Finland’s historic decision to become a member. Stockholm and Helsinki are closely coordinating in this regard, which is why Sweden should soon be striving to join the alliance.
Scandinavian concerns about their own vulnerability in the period between application and accession could therefore be on the agenda. Because during this time, NATO’s alliance promise (Article 5) does not yet take effect.
It could take months for the treaty to be ratified by all member states. On the other hand, Russia’s military already seems to be reaching its limits in Ukraine. In addition, Finnish representatives are already sitting on NATO committees as guests and Finnish troops are taking part in joint maneuvers.
The meeting is also expected to include a strategic debate on the Alliance’s goals in dealing with Russia. Contradictory statements by US President Joe Biden, which at times sounded like “regime change”, caused confusion, and not just in Berlin. New sanctions will probably not be decided, because the EU is currently working on its 6th sanctions package.