German Vice-Chancellor calls for federalization of Ukraine



2014/08/23 • News

Sigmar Gabriel stated that the territorial integrity of Ukraine can be saved if a relevant proposal is made to the regions where the majority of the people are ethnic Russians.

Sigmar Gabriel, Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice-Chancellor of Germany since 2013, called for the federalization of Ukraine.

The territorial integrity of Ukraine can be saved only if relevant proposals are made to areas dominated by ethnic Russians.” the politician said in an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. He added that an intelligent concept of federalization constitutes the only suitable way to settle the Ukrainian crisis.

However, all parties must first agree on a ceasefire. Germany is striving to reach a definite goal – namely, to prevent direct military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, said the Vice-Chancellor. Gabriel also declared that it was time to consider how to promote reconciliation after the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine is over (AFP).

The German Vice Chancellor also does not see any chance of Crimea being returned to Ukraine. “Today, it’s likely that no one sees how the annexation of Crimea by Russia can be reversed.” said the politician.

Sigmar Gabriel made these statements before the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visits Kyiv on Saturday, August 23.

Source:, translated by Christine Chraibi


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  • Arctic_Slicer

    Outside of Crimea and Sevastopol what regions of Ukraine have a majority of “ethnic Russians”?

    • Brent
      • Arctic_Slicer

        I actually already knew the answer to that question years ago; I only asked it since the German vice-chancellor seems woefully uninformed about the situation in Ukraine. Unless he, very unlikely, is advocating Russia fully withdraw it’s forces from Crimea and Sevastopol and allow Ukraine to restore authority over those regions under “federalization”; his proposal is entirely without merit.

  • George

    So did Putler give him a villa on the Black sea to say this?

  • Donald Casavant

    This is total surrender to Russia! Leave it to the Germans to suggest that Ukraine surrender to the Russians. This is what Putiler has wanted from the very start! This point is the main reason the Ukraine has been fighting the Russian Terrorist in Eastern Ukraine. I hope that this is not the message that Frau Merkel is bringing to Poroshenko! If it is, then Poroshenko should tell her where to stick it!

    • Sokatoomee

      No room to stick it, she already has two containers of sauerkraut up there.

  • Kruton

    Backstabbing Nazi scum, I knew it!

  • Flexicoke

    Why doesn’t he offer Brandenburg or Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in exchange for returning Crimea to Ukraine?
    Total lack of empathy.

  • Sokatoomee

    This German is nuts. Mashigane too!

  • Scott Arnold

    Sigmar Gabriel your a absolute idiot and only say this to keep the good relationship and possible cheaper gas and product that Russia will get from the illegal action of taking Crimea.. he is only thinking about his bill fold filling with Russia rubles he a chicken shit of a man not to stand up to Putin

  • Edison

    Gabriel’s not even demanding a referendum! He apparently wants a Lavrov-Gabriel treaty, like the Molotov-Ribbentrop in 1939. By the way, many Russians complained that the Allies let them do the dirty work against the Nazis, while we only sent them supplies and no troops. Of course, because they were allied with Hitler in order to invade, murder, and annex eastern European countries. Lavrov-Gabriel would allow annexation of Crimean and east Ukraine property. So Crimea used to be Russia? Why stop there? Odessa, Kherson, and Izmail were Russian at one time too.

    • Guest

      Not to mention half of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus.

  • Andrej Zimmermann

    You idiots are talking about nazis?

    • Brent

      Troll alert! I just had the pleaseure of reading a bunch of your postings, Comrade. I guess you weren’t overburdened with ‘two mutch edukashun’. Russian tv has indoctrinated you very well!!! Anyone with your comments against the U.S., Isreal and now Ukraine should get an honorary degree from “Lavrov University of Propaganda and Lies”. Maybe you are you a relative of Goebbels? Here’s some photos of the real neo-Nazis you refer to….I wonder if you’ve applied?

    • Dirk Smith

      Yes, the cowardly ones from Russia.

  • Brent

    Sigmar Gabriel is either brilliant or an incredible fool of massive proportions. Sadly, I am pretty sure we are not seeing brilliance in his statements, but are instead seeing the groundwork of Germany selling out Ukraine to Russia. Here is the demographics by oblast showing the percentage of ethnic Ukrainians. Lugansk (58%) and Donetsk (56.9%) are still populated by a majority of ethnic Ukrainians. Only Crimea (24.3%) was under the 50% threshold for German’s planned gift to Russia. So not only is the “anschluss” of Crimea fait accompli in the eyes of Germany, but other regions with ethnic Ukrainian majorities are apparently up for grabs.

    Now, is the problem that Gabriel may be naive or trying to manipulate public opinion and confusing “Russian speakers” with those citizens who identify themselves ethnically as Ukrainian? Should not these citizens of Ukraine have a legitimate say in what country they wish to be part of? Any of the polling done prior to the incursions into Donbass showed at most 28% support for annexation by Russia in the Donbass region. I suspect after being subjected to months of kidnappings, looting, murder and religiious persecution by Russian sponsored terrorists, that number has dropped even more. Germany has long been advocating a ceasefire when Ukraine has been reclaiming its territory from Russian invasion. Germany has done nothing to even supply defensive military capabilities to Ukraine, but was supplying Russia with hi tech military gear up until the sanctions. They’ve lost their market. Germany has not made any objections about Russia sending in its leadership, troops or military hardware into sovereign Ukrainian territory. I also haven’t seen one bit of German aid to Ukraine.

    It’s sad to see that Germany has joined fellow EU countries like France, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in wanting to ‘sell out’ Ukraine and not defend it’s interests or territorial integrity. Yesterday Frau Ribbentrop laid the groundwork for her visit to Poroshenko by declaring beforehand that there can be no military victory and that a ceasefire must be negotiated. She has already sold out Ukraine to her buddy “Put-ler”. Right before Ukraine’s independence celebrations. What is Ukraine to tell the citizens that have been happily liberated by Ukrainian forces in the many towns and smaller cities in Donbass and are no longer subject to kidnapping, murder, religious persecution by Russian sponsored terrorists? What is Germany telling to the 298 innocent civilians blown out of the sky by Russian hardware and Russian sponsored terrorists?

    Let’s not forget “Put-ler’s” vision of Novorossiya extends beyond Crimea, Lugansk and Donetsk. He has tried several times to stir up unrest in Kharkov, Odessa, Mykolaiv and Dnepropetrovsk. Zaporozhia’s industrial capabilities have also long fed Russia.

    Yes, both Frau Merkl Ribbentrop and Comrade Gabriel are looking at very lucrative futures with Gazprom or Nordstream….

  • toioioio

    The Russians with their German friends, do divide Europe again, as it seems.

  • Rods

    As a Brit what I’ve very sadly learn’t is that to the duplicitous, deceitful, Western politicians; 46 million Ukrainian lives and their futures are worth nothing.

    Obama stated that Ukraine was of no strategic importance. Sorry, but unlike Iraq you don’t have enough oil or gas to matter. 46 million Ukrainians and their futures definitely aren’t worth losing a round of golf for, while on vacation.

    NATO Ukraine nothing to do we us! They follow the Western scripted response to everything of never mentioning the wrong I-word. They worry about the Baltic countries invoking article 5, but as minor countries, the response will only be a bit less than ‘nothing to do with us’.

    EU – Join us, you will be fine as part of our expanding empire! Any problems with aggression from your “neighbour from hell” we will be right behind you. As the bear comes out for a fight, they push Ukraine forward, shout Ukraine’s dealing with it and run away. Britain in the lead where they throw the folder marked Budapest Agreement in the air, so they can run a bit faster. If it doesn’t benefit ‘The Project’ forget it. As Russia has got more aggressive a few minor token sanctions to show their doing something as Ukrainian lives and futures aren’t worth anything more. The current sectoral sanctions are nothing to do with Russian aggression or Ukrainian suffering but the Russian mistake of MH17.

    Britain: And this I’ve had from a local MP John Redwood who is against any sanctions against Russia. Sorry, but 46 million Ukrainian lives and their futures aren’t worth a £1 lost by any UK bank or financial services company. He is currently wringing his hands over the lives lost with the ATO bravely defending Ukraine, due to the causalities. David Cameron’s principles are all based on what his focus groups shows will make him the most popular. Will at times talk tough with his latest sound bites to boost popularity, but will always act weak where he is a left wing, liberal with a limp wrist.

    France: Sacre Blur, will we lose a Euro and any political capital by not rearming Russia? Sorry, but you are sold out. Don’t take it personally as slimy, self centred, (often corrupt) French politicians, do this to everybody, including the UK. Never trust them will any state secrets, unless it is to your advantage for your enemies to know about them immediately.

    Germany: It’s the German economy stupid. Highly principled, which is the biggest market for their goods Ukraine or Russia? Sorry, nothing personal, but Ukrainians aren’t Germans and we have goods to sell and profits to make in our biggest markets and unlike Russia, Ukraine doesn’t supply Germany with any oil or gas to keep the wheels of industry turning at maximum speed. Principals are totally flexible and will always be made fit their most important defining principal, did I mention, it’s the German Economy stupid!

    Eastern Europe countries: Right behind you, but too small, too poor, too do much. Rightly worried, are they, like Ukraine, on the big western countries sell out list?

    Rest of western Europe: Who knows? They will make very little difference as they will either dissent for their own political gain or follow Germany’s, France’s and possibly the UK’s lead.

    Canada: Your best friend to date, but as a country more of a follower than a leader.

    The wrong and right I-words: The wrong I-word for western politicians is ‘Invasion’ as saying this, means they will have be seen to be considering more sanctions which will impact their economies. The right I-word is ‘International law’, namely the breach of it by Russia, as they can continue to make speaches, create memorable sound bites to be seen to do the right thing in a few speeches and then forget about it by doing nothing.

    There is some good news: I think Ukraine will continue to get verbal and much needed non-lethal supplies from the west and most importantly of all continued economic support. Polls show that the support for Ukraine is much higher by Western populations than their politicians and those that care about Ukraine and it’s future will keep pushing our politicians to do more to help Ukraine.

    Sorry, it makes me ashamed to be British where I have a lovely Ukrainian wife and Ukraine is being sold short by most Western countries where Russia should be facing much stronger sanctions for their disgusting and totally unacceptable actions. The reality is that you are on your own and will have to act accordingly. Be bold, be strong and keep giving the bully Putler a bloody nose and only accept any peace plan that is on acceptable terms for Ukraine. Putler is dangerous as he is acting from a position of extreme political and economic weakness, which means much is bluff and this, in reality, limits what he can do and get away with. Putler is currently acting more and more irrationally and making many bad decisions and mistakes, which are going to rebound on him. I will be surprised if Putler is in power post-2018 and may fall before this, he would be right to feel nervous every time he passes by a lamp post.

    Glory to Ukraine.

    • Kruton

      As an American I agree completely.If Ukrainian people unite they can defeat Russia. The Russian military is overrated and led by a police officer not a soldier,a fatal flaw. Glory to the Heroes!

  • Jacks Channel

    Federalization? With this kind of thinking, lets just federalize everything wherever some ethnic group is unhappy with the country they live in.

    Ukraine is Ukraine. If you don’t like it then LEAVE and go live somewhere else. Federalization is not the will of the majority of the Ukrainian people. Legal case closed.

  • Evelyn Myketa Livingston

    This is what we’ve come to expect from germany.

  • Dirk Smith

    The Munich Agreement 1938 all over again. Give shallow-minded neanderthals like Putler an inch and they’ll attempt to take a mile. Russia is a third-world one dimensional petrostate that is bluffing it’s way into Ukraine. Enough…….

  • Fred Hernandez

    He must be a paid lobbyist for Putin. And I am sure he was at Putin’s birthday party with Helmut Kohl. Shame, shame!

  • LawrenceOshanek

    They make it appear that Germany and Russia may be once again are planning the division and control of Europe and parts of Asia, just like they did in the 23 August, 1939 with the Ribbentrop–Molotov Pact or Nazi–Soviet Pact when they secretly divided the territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland into Nazi and Soviet “spheres of influence”,

  • Dkr1995

    Interestingly, this is no different than what was offered to the neanderthals in eastern Ukraine two months ago and they refused, wouldn’t even cease fire for a day! “Federalization” is hot the same as “Federations.” All the 47 chromosome members of the “separatists” are interested in is having some position of power in some ridiculous notion of a republic, which would never be recognized by anyone.

  • Dave Ralph

    You people have no plan for how to solve this crisis. The German is 100% right. Crimea is gone, and Donetsk will either federalize or secede. If you don’t like it, go bang your head against a wall somewhere. The West owes you nothing. Either Ukraine agrees to these proposals, or Germany and the US cut off all financial aid to Ukraine, the economy goes bankrupt, and Putin’s army moves in and takes everything east of Lviv. Figure out a practical way to solve your problems instead of just whining all the time. If the West cuts you off, you’ll all be living in garbage cans.

  • James Matkin

    I agree with Germany’s proposal that a Canadian style federalism applied to different
    economic and ethnic regions in Ukraine. I am a Canadian constitutional lawyer with direct experience in how it works. Canada is very decentralized but the federal government has primary role in the economy, currency and international affairs. These areas should translate well in the Ukraine. Russia supports this idea coming in the Minsk 12 proposals for a cease fire. Ukraine resists federalization fearing this will give too much power to Russia to interfere. But what is the alternative? Federalism is not perfect but much preferred to capitulation.
    The Ukraine war seems to have parallels with the Cuban military crisis in the sixties that saw the combatants reach the edge of world war, only pulling back from the abyss at
    the last moment. Recently I published a comment to the NY Times story Feb 09, about the dangers of escalation with US sending lethal weapons.

    “Sadly the world is heading in the wrong direction
    as we are now on the edge of military engagement between Russia and the
    US. The immediate issue is limited to the US sending military aid to help
    the Ukraine defend its breached border with Russia. Putin is escalating his
    invasion of Crimea and the result may be war with the West as much as France
    and Germany are not interested, but the US may be somewhat naïve in offering
    lethal weapons to Ukraine risking failure with the diplomatic strategy

    Looked at with the lenses of “offensive realism” according John Mearsheimer,
    “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” 2001, leaves one pessimistic that the
    tragedy unfolding with the Russian invasion of Ukraine will end well. We are
    witnessing firsthand the growing split in the West over more military
    involvement by the US. Mearsheimer’s realism is based on the fact war will
    occur because states pursue power under our “anarchic system” with no hierarchy
    or “night watchman” to sort out things when one state attacks another.
    Mearsheimer posits states are forced to rely on themselves for security and
    expand their power militarily, geographically and economically in order to
    increase their security. W. Is this not exactly what happened with Russia
    initially when Ukrainians revolted and talked of joining NATO? Fear and the
    anarchic system pushed Russia into a foolish move to expand power and rebalance
    by invading its old territory in Crimea. Likewise is there a realist
    explanation for the current somewhat US duplicity thinking of sending armaments
    while vigorously maintaining that a military solution to Russia / Ukraine is
    not possible? Sadly realism seems to be trumping liberalism for both Russia and
    the United States.”