German MPs opt out of attending speech by Zelensky

(MENAFN) Lawmakers from two German opposition parties, the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the newly formed left-wing populist Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW), opted out of attending a speech delivered by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Bundestag on Tuesday. Their absence highlighted their vehement opposition to Ukraine's policies, which they argue could escalate ongoing conflict in the region.

Zelensky’s address marked his second speech to the German parliament since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but notably, it was his first delivered in person rather than via video link. During his speech, he expressed gratitude to Berlin for its support and urged Germany to ensure that Russian President Vladimir Putin faces defeat in the conflict. Zelensky emphasized the need for clarity on the outcome of the war to affirm who emerges victorious.

Despite the Ukrainian leader’s pleas, the event saw a boycott from all BSW MPs and the majority of AfD lawmakers. Only four members of the AfD, a party that secured 16% of the vote in the recent EU parliamentary elections, attended Zelensky’s speech, viewing their presence as a matter of basic courtesy despite sharp criticisms from party leaders prior to the session.

Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla, prominent AfD figures, openly criticized Zelensky, particularly targeting his choice of attire and characterizing his presidency as one focused solely on war and seeking financial aid. They pointed out that Zelensky's presidential term formally ended in May, following his decision to cancel scheduled elections in March due to martial law.

The decision by AfD and BSW lawmakers to boycott the speech underscores the deep-seated divisions within Germany’s political landscape regarding its stance on Ukrainian policies and the ongoing conflict in the region.



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