Germany’s Russia-friendly parties skip Zelenskyy speech – POLITICO

“We refuse to listen to a speaker in camouflage,” said AfD national leaders Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla in a statement, referring to Zelenskyy’s signature wartime attire. “He is now only in office as a war and begging president. But Ukraine does not need a war president now, it needs a peace president who is willing to negotiate so that the dying stops and the country has a future.”

Only four of the 77 parliamentarians from the AfD attended, while all ten parliamentarians in the BSW, a new party founded by a former leftist icon Sahra Wagenknecht combining left-wing economic policies with conservative cultural stances, skipped the event. Both parties support far more pro-Russia policies and oppose military support for Ukraine.

“President Zelenskyy is currently contributing to a highly dangerous spiral of escalation and is accepting the risk of a nuclear conflict with devastating consequences for the whole of Europe,” a BSW statement said. “Therefore, he should not be honored with a special event in the German Bundestag.”

Parliamentarians from all other parties enthusiastically applauded Zelenskyy’s speech. Most Germans are in favor of additional European weapons deliveries to Ukraine, according to one recent poll, though 32 percent were against.

At the same time, both the AfD and the BSW performed relatively well in the European election. The AfD took 15.9 percent of the national vote in Germany, taking second place, while the BSW took 6.2 percent. In the states of the former East Germany, the AfD came in first with nearly 30 percent of the vote, while the BSW came in third with around 14 percent.

“With the BSW, Putin now has the second party in Germany at his disposal that uncritically follows him,“ Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the lead candidate for Germany’s pro-business Free Democrats in the European Parliament, wrote on X.

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