Social Democrats in the Bundestag have defended party elder Manuela Schwesig, the state leader of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and until recently a leading supporter of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, after she was asked to resign.
Schwesig is prime minister of the north-eastern region of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, home of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was supposed to connect Germany to Russia but was halted after Russia attacked Ukraine.
The state chairwoman, who is prominent in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s SPD, has recently come under criticism because in the past she has repeatedly and enthusiastically campaigned for the construction of the pipeline and enthusiastically accepted Russian money for the region through a foundation. She changed her position only after Russia attacked Ukraine.
A prime minister cannot be “at the same time a lobbyist for Putin,” Mario Czaja, general secretary of the conservative opposition party CDU, told the German weekly newspaper The mirror on Friday (April 15). CDU foreign policy expert Norbert Röttgen also called for Schwesig’s resignation on Saturday (April 16).
While Scholz has been silent about it so far, the SPD parliamentary group has now backed Schwesig.
The demands for his resignation “not only sound artificial, but also dishonest,” said Frank Junge, spokesman for the parliamentary group’s Eastern Committee Rheinische Post on Monday.
The SPD politician is not to blame for the recent close ties with Russia, but the CDU/CSU, which governed for 16 years under former Chancellor Angela Merkel.