Warsaw visit: Klingbeil should gain trust, not lose it


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Opinion Visit to Warsaw

Klingbeil should gain trust, not lose it

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil on tour;  WELT author Nikolaus Doll SPD leader Lars Klingbeil on tour;  WELT author Nikolaus Doll

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil on tour; WELT author Nikolaus Doll

Source: Fionn Große/SPD/dpa; Claudius Plough

During his trip to Warsaw, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil once again admitted that his party had made mistakes in dealing with Russia. In terms of security and foreign policy, he is now calling for a realignment. But his plan has two flaws.

Das the SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil Traveling to the Ukraine and Poland to win back the trust that has been lost there and, above all, to ease the tension in Warsaw in view of the badly battered German-Polish relationship is right and long overdue. After all, it was primarily the German Social Democrats who for a long time followed a particularly pro-Moscow course. However, Lars Klingbeil’s mission has two flaws.

The party leader is traveling surrounded by a throng of leaders of social democratic parties from Central and Eastern European and Scandinavian countries. As if they also had something to repair in Warsaw – which is not the case. In these countries, people snuggled up significantly less or not at all with Moscow.

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For the first time since the beginning of the war in Kiev: Rolf Mützenich (left) and Lars Klingbeil (centre, both SPD), here with Mayor Vitali Klitschko

So when it’s about Damage limitation by the SPD and the commitment that from now on one really wants to pursue a new Ostpolitik that is independent of Russia, a solo performance by Lars Klingbeil would have been more credible than a trip within the framework of Europe’s large family of social democratic parties.

Now the change of times conference organized by the SPD leader in Warsaw is also about Concept for a future security policy in Europe. And that is of course a challenge that no one party leader can advance alone in another state capital. But does it make sense to limit such a mission to social democrats – who do not even govern in many EU countries?

Realignment in foreign and security policy

And how does it fit together that Lars Klingbeil’s mission obviously follows Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s credo “no going it alone”, but at the same time the SPD leader claims a “clear leadership role” for Germany in the initiative for a new European security policy? So does “no going it alone” mean that the federal government should lead and the other EU members should follow? With this impression, which now has to be created not only in Warsaw, you are guaranteed not to win back trust as planned.

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