Friday, June 21, 2024

Russia says Germany’s Scholz and France’s Macron belong to ‘ash heap of history’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron should abandon politics after their respective parties suffered damaging setbacks in the European Parliament elections, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has stated.

Scholz’s center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) is projected to finish third in the key ballot, behind the center-right Christian Democrats and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Macron’s Besoin d’Europe coalition is expected to win less than half of the votes received by the right-wing National Rally party associated with Marine Le Pen, prompting the French president to call a snap parliamentary election after preliminary results emerged on Sunday.

In a social media post on Monday, Medvedev claimed the outcome proves that Scholz and Macron are “respected by no one”. The former Russian leader linked the poor performance at the ballot box with the “idiotic economic and migration policy” pursued by the two leaders and their support for Ukraine “at the cost of [their] own citizens”.

“Time to retire. To the ash heap of history!” said Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, earlier called on Scholz and Macron to resign and to “stop victimizing the citizens of their states.”

Officials in Moscow have accused leaders of EU nations of betraying the interests of their populations in favor of US geopolitical goals. Responding to the Ukraine crisis in 2022, the bloc vowed to support Kiev militarily for “as long as it takes”, and imposed an array of economic sanctions against Russia. Most notably, Brussels has pushed EU countries to stop buying Russian natural gas.

Large consumers such as Germany have struggled to substitute cheap Russian pipeline fuel with other sources, including renewables and expensive liquified natural gas. American LNG producers have since taken over a large share of the European market. A hike in energy prices has forced many energy-intensive businesses to either move out of the EU or shut down entirely.

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