Berlin: Angela Merkel has said that “the Cold War never ended” while admitting that she should have spent more on the German military during her time as chancellor.
Merkel admitted that “we should have reacted more quickly to Russia’s aggressiveness”, saying she took responsibility for “not making impassioned speeches every day”.
The admission that she should have built a coercive deterrent preoccupied her, Merkel said Die Zeit.
“The Cold War never really ended because Russia wasn’t really happy,” she said.
After annexing Crimea in 2014, Germany increased military spending, but never met the NATO target of 2 percent of GDP under its watch.
She admitted that this weakened her ability to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, saying she was “not doing enough” to deter the Russian president.
However, the former chancellor refused to show remorse for policies that led to increased German dependence on Russian gas, particularly through pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
She argued that alternative energy sources would have been too expensive and said buying elsewhere would have been “a massive political decision” that “would not have been accepted”.