On August 27, Germany’s primary opposition leader, Friedrich Merz, ruled out any cooperation with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).
“We don’t work with the AfD,” Merz, the leader of the Christian Democrats, stated in an interview with ARD Das Erste. “There are majorities in Germany without the AfD.”
AfD and danger of collaborating with far-right
The danger of collaborating with the far-right party was highlighted for Merz in July, when he was forced to retract comments suggesting he could work with the AfD on a local level due to opposition from inside his party ranks.
The nationalist, anti-immigrant AfD, founded a decade ago, just reached a new high in Germany in an opinion poll, yet the thought of partnering with the far-right party has been taboo for Germany’s mainstream parties.
Merz advocated for a U-turn in Germany’s migration policy, urging a shift in asylum procedures and, at least temporarily, the end of free borders.
Merz advocates support for Ukraine
Merkel’s party leader advocates for a stronger support of Ukraine, and providing Kyiv with Taurus missiles under a specific condition. Friedrich Merz said he supported the delivery of German long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, but with a limited range.
Merz said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag that Germany “should supply Taurus cruise missiles”, but they should be limited in such a way “that they can only be used to defend the territory of Ukraine”.
“I am afraid that one day we will realise that we have done too little too late for Ukraine and, therefore, for our security. This indecision may yet be a big historical mistake,” the Christian democrat leader stressed.
If the Taurus is approved, Germany will become the third country to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles after the Storm Shadow (UK) and SCALP (France) missiles that have already been delivered to the Ukrainian army.
German Chancellor fears that Ukraine might strike Russia with the supplied weapons
According to Spiegel, classified talks with defence industry representatives are underway. Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to make technical modifications to the missiles to prevent Kyiv from striking Russian territory other than the Russian-occupied Crimea, which is seen as a legitimate target for the Ukrainian forces.
On the other hand, the far right AfD party has long been known for pro-Russian views and statements. German far-right opposed the support for Ukraine and weapons delivery, which are backed by all main parties.