Politics 2023-01-15T06:06:22+02:00
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Merkel Was Against Postponement Of Presidential Election In Ukraine Due To Imposition Of Martial Law After Ker

Merkel Was Against Postponement Of Presidential Election In Ukraine Due To Imposition Of Martial Law After Kerch Incident - Ex-U.S. National Security Adviser Bolton’s Memoirs

Russia, Ukraine, merkel, Donald Trump, presidential election, Angela Merkel, Kerch Strait, John Bolton

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed the postponement of the presidential election in Ukraine in 2019, which could have occurred due to the imposition of martial law after the capture of Ukrainian military ships in the Kerch Strait by Russia.

John Bolton, who was the United States’ national security advisor from 2018 to 2019, made this claim in his memoirs, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

Bolton remembers that when it became known about the capture of ships, he was afraid that events could lead to a serious escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and called Trump.

Trump’s first reaction was that the incident could have been a provocation of Ukraine in the light of future presidential election, but Trump also didn’t exclude that the Russians could seek confrontation in an attempt to “legitimize” the annexation of Crimea.

Trump asked what actions the European states took and made it clear that the United States should not take hasty steps.

Bolton writes that then Merkel's foreign affairs adviser, Jan Hecker, called him.

"The Germans were worried and, in my impression, Hecker believed that Poroshenko was not completely unhappy after what happened because of the potential political gain," Bolton affirms.

The main thing that Germany opposed was the postponement of election, which would be inevitable, if Poroshenko introduced, as he initially proposed, martial law for 60 days.

"Germany opposes the postponement of election, Hecker said. At the moment, Ukraine and Russia have given conflicting messages (reports) about the episode, but the facts remain unclear. Merkel planned a conversation with Poroshenko immediately," the memoir reads.

Hecker then told Bolton that Poroshenko, in a conversation with Merkel, said that he had softened his proposals on martial law to prevent the postponement of the election.

"In Merkel’s conversation with Poroshenko, he said he had modified the martial-law bill pending in the Rada, reducing the period affected from sixty to thirty days, thus permitting the March elections to proceed as scheduled. This was progress, although martial law would help Poroshenko politically, and it would bear watching to see if the thirty-day period was later extended (it was not)," Bolton writes.

This was progress, but martial law could help Poroshenko politically and would it’s terrible if the 30-day period was extended later (which did not happen),” Bolton writes.

He also says that Trump was annoyed that the Kerch incident prevented him from meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Rio de Janeiro.

He did not want to hold a bilateral meeting in a situation where Ukraine would be the main issue of the conversation and considered that the release of Ukrainian sailors before the meeting would be a good option, which could show the effectiveness of his policy.

But Russia did not agree with this and the meeting did not take place.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, on November 25, 2018, the Russian military captured two Ukrainian boats and a navy tugboat near the Kerch Strait.

24 Ukrainian sailors were captured.

They were released on September 7, 2019 already under the presidency of Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

At first, the National Security and Defense Council proposed to introduce martial law for 60 days, which would entail the postponement of the presidential election, but then Poroshenko suggested Verkhovna Rada introduce it only for 30 days, which was done.

The election was held and Poroshenko lost to Volodymyr Zelenskyy.