20th electoral term,
The German Bundestag, at its 19th sitting, held on 27 February 2022, acting on the basis of Bundestag printed paper 20/846
on the Federal Chancellor’s delivery of a policy statement on the current situation
decided the following:
In the early hours of 24 February 2022, President Putin launched a full-scale Russian military assault on Ukraine. Nothing can justify this war of aggression. It constitutes a flagrant breach of international law. The twenty-fourth of February 2022 is one of the darkest days in Europe since the end of the Second World War. The German Bundestag extends its solidarity and support to Ukraine and its people, as well as all those in the Russian Federation and Belarus who are standing up against autocracy and in support of peace, freedom and democracy.
With this war of aggression against Ukraine, the Russian government is abandoning the international order’s most fundamental rules, in full view of the world. The peaceful European order of recent decades is the foundation which allows us to live in freedom, prosperity and peace. Russia had already inflicted severe damage on the peaceful European order with its illegal recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the illegal annexation of Crimea.
With this wilful, unprovoked and inexcusable attack, the Russian leadership is attempting to destroy the peaceful European order. This is nothing less than a historic turning point. The international community will stand resolutely together. The Russian leadership will have to pay a heavy price.
The German Bundestag condemns the Russian government’s actions in the strongest possible terms and expresses its full solidarity with Ukraine and its population. The Ukrainian people’s pursuit of democracy, freedom and self-determination is a human right. No one has the right to use military force to keep Ukraine from pursuing this path. The way in which the Ukrainian people have stood up for our shared European values and principles in and since the Euromaidan in 2013 and 2014 was and still is unparalleled. President Putin’s regime will not succeed in vanquishing the spirit of the Euromaidan and Ukraine’s free society.
The courage and civil-society engagement of our Ukrainian neighbours offers an example for Europe as a whole. A Europe where the rule of law prevails, not the rule of „might is right“. President Putin and his regime will never vanquish this spirit and this progress.
The Federal Government, in close consultation with its partners and allies in the EU, NATO and the G7, has left no stone unturned in recent months in its efforts to find a peaceful solution, via diplomatic channels, to the crisis created by President Putin. Against this backdrop, we have seen once again that the transatlantic partnership and our friendship with the United States are a key pillar of our international actions and our security in Europe. The Russian leadership has irresponsibly failed to engage with offers of dialogue and chosen the path of military aggression.
At the same time, the German Bundestag affirms that it takes the interests of our partners in Central and Eastern Europe seriously. Germany must take into account the different threat perceptions and focus on a common, coherent EU policy towards Russia, particularly against the backdrop of Russia’s current aggression against Ukraine. The German Bundestag also expresses its commitment to maintaining a credible deterrent within NATO and supports the Alliance’s efforts to engage in dialogue with third countries, even in the most difficult situations.
The German Bundestag calls on President Putin and the Russian government to cease their war of aggression against Ukraine without delay and to immediately withdraw their troops from Ukraine’s territory. An immediate ceasefire is what is now needed. Urgently required humanitarian aid must be allowed into the country. The illegal recognition of the so-called „People’s Republics“ of Donetsk and Luhansk must be revoked immediately. The full territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula, must be restored.
Targeted disinformation and attacks on digital infrastructure, including and especially critical infrastructure, are an integral part of Russian warfare. The Bundestag condemns such practices, which also specifically target civilian infrastructure, in the strongest possible terms.
Germany has been highly active in the field of development cooperation with Ukraine in recent years, and has provided around two billion euros in support to Ukraine. The German Bundestag expressly affirms that it will continue to cooperate very closely with a free and sovereign Ukraine in future and will provide intensive support and assistance.
President Putin’s actions are isolating Russia from the international community. Only the Russian leadership has the power to abandon its current misguided path and move away from the use of military force. Europe and the international community understand, in principle, the value of stable relations with Russia. However, substantial international cooperation will only be conceivable again if the Russian leadership complies with international law and fully respects and restores the territorial integrity of its neighbouring countries and the inviolability of their borders. Our respect and recognition go out to all Russians who are standing up against their president’s aggressive course and showing the world that there is another Russia, a Russia that wishes to be part of the international community and wants to live in peace with its neighbours.
I. The German Bundestag notes:
1. The Federal Republic of Germany stands firmly and steadfastly by our Ukrainian friends. We share the values of democracy, freedom and peace. We will never abandon these values or the people who stand up for them.
2. The decision by the Federal Government and its allies to exclude Russian banks listed by the EU from the international payments system SWIFT and to support Ukraine in exercising its right of self-defence is the right course of action, given the backdrop of this historic turning point.
II. The German Bundestag welcomes
1. the active role played by the Federal Government in the united and resolute response by the European Union, NATO and the G7 to this arbitrary and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine, and the imposition of further, more severe sanctions against Russia in this context;
2. the sanctions agreed by the EU and its partners, which cover the Russian financial, energy and transport sectors, the additional listings of Russian individuals, and export controls and export financing. These measures will ensure that Russia’s actions have massive and severe consequences;
3. the European Council’s decision to further expand existing financial restrictions, in particular those on access by certain Russian entities to the capital markets. The listing and provision of services in relation to shares of Russian state-owned entities on Union trading venues should also be prohibited. In addition, new measures must be introduced to significantly limit the financial inflows from Russia to the Union by prohibiting the acceptance of deposits exceeding certain values from Russian nationals or residents, the holding of accounts of Russian clients by the Union central securities depositories as well as the selling of euro-denominated securities to Russian clients;
4. the Federal Government’s decision to deploy an additional 350 Bundeswehr personnel to bolster the German contingent of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) in Lithuania;
5. the Federal Government’s early pledge that German experts would support the Ukrainian government in analysing and countering hybrid threats, and the fact that it has made resources available accordingly;
6. the suspension of Russia’s membership of the Council of Europe.
III. The German Bundestag calls on the Federal Government
1. to use, together with our partners in the international community, all available diplomatic means to persuade the Russian government to once again respect and comply with the international agreements, rules and legally binding treaties which it has signed and thus committed to uphold, including the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the Budapest Memorandum;
2. to use, together with our transatlantic and European partners, all available diplomatic means to press for an immediate ceasefire and for the immediate and full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory;
3. to provide Ukraine with all possible forms of political, economic, financial and humanitarian support, and to examine whether further military equipment can be made available to Ukraine;
4. to facilitate the admission to Germany of refugees and people seeking protection coming from Ukraine, and to support our European neighbours in admitting and caring for refugees and people seeking protection;
5. to show solidarity with our NATO and EU partners in Central and Eastern Europe, and take into account their heightened security needs by taking appropriate measures in the framework of NATO and the EU; this includes examining further appropriate measures to bolster the German civilian and military presence in NATO partner countries in Central and Eastern Europe;
6. to continue to drive forward the modernisation of the Bundeswehr with the aim of ensuring the armed forces are fully equipped and fully operational, to close existing capability gaps immediately, and to provide the necessary financial resources for this in the near and long term;
7. to meet NATO’s capability targets in close coordination with our partners and, accordingly, to invest in the Bundeswehr in the near term, while also strengthening the fields of diplomacy, humanitarian aid and development cooperation;
8. to seek to ensure, in the framework of the development of NATO’s new Strategic Concept, that the historic turning point of the Russian war of aggression is also taken into account in terms of security policy and reflected in the Alliance’s strategy; the same applies to the development of the European Union’s Strategic Compass;
9. to work, including and especially in the framework of the United Nations, towards condemnation of Russia’s breach of international law;
10. to continuously tailor further sanctions to reflect the changing situation;
11. to investigate reports of war crimes committed by Russia in connection with the invasion of Ukraine and to advocate for international punishment of these crimes;
12. to intensify defensive measures via existing coordination bodies, at both national and European level, with the aim of ensuring that critical infrastructure is protected as effectively as possible, together with counterintelligence and counter-sabotage efforts; and to advise and, where necessary, support potentially affected operators and companies, in particular via the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), and to consider civil protection measures in this context as well;
13. to seek to ensure that the Council of Europe does not suffer any financial losses as a result of its suspension of Russia and, together with the other member states of the Council of Europe, to provide compensation for the loss of Russia’s financial contribution and make the necessary funding available for this.