”You’re Done with Power Politics”, spiegel.de

After 16 years as Germany’s political leader, she realized that it was time for someone new. But one year after leaving office, Angela Merkel has yet to find closure – particularly as her legacy continues to look worse and worse. […]

”But it didn’t come as a surprise. The Minsk agreements had eroded. In summer 2021, after President Biden met with Putin, Emmanuel Macron and I had wanted to put together a productive negotiating format in the EU Council. Some were opposed to the idea and I no longer had the power to push it through, because everyone knew I’d be gone that autumn. I asked others in the Council: ’Why aren’t you speaking up? Say something.’ One said: ’It’s too big for me.’ The other merely shrugged his shoulders, saying that it was an issue for the big countries. If I had run again for re-election that September, I would have followed up. It was the same story during my farewell visit in Moscow. The feeling was quite clear: ’You’re done with power politics.’ For Putin, only power counts. He brought Lavrov along for this last visit. Usually, we tended to meet face-to-face.”[…]

Merkel suddenly recalls that in addition to watching ”The Crown” and ”Babylon Berlin” with all her free time, she also took in ”Munich: The Edge of War,” the Netflix film about Neville Chamberlain’s role in the run-up to World War II. Jeremy Irons played Chamberlain. She liked it because it shows Churchill’s predecessor in a different light – not just as a frightened pawn for Hitler, but as a strategist who gave his country the buffer it needed to prepare for the German attack. In her telling, the Munich of 1938 sounds a bit like Bucharest of 2008. She believes that back then, and then later during the Minsk talks, she was able to buy the time Ukraine needed to better fend off the Russian attack. She says it is now a strong, well-fortified country. Back then, she is certain, it would have been overrun by Putin’s troops. Läs interevjun