Forum organizers do not want to give Russian representatives a rostrum for propaganda. Instead, oppositionists Garry Kasparov and Mikhail Khodorkovsky have been invited to the conference.
Representatives of Russia’s government have not been invited to this year’s Munich International Security Conference, conference chairman Christoph Heusgen told MDR TV on Wednesday, February 1. He explained this by his reluctance to give the rostrum of an authoritative international security forum to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda.
“The statements we hear daily from the Kremlin do not allow us to conclude that Russia will retreat even one iota from what Putin has proclaimed to be the purpose of the war, namely, the destruction of Ukraine,” Heusgen explained. Instead of government officials from Russia, he said, representatives of civil society and the opposition, including former world chess champion Garry Kasparov and disgraced oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, have been invited.
Importance of aid to Ukraine
Heusgen, who previously served as foreign policy adviser to former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, defended Germany’s support for Ukraine.
“Putin has made it clear that he ultimately seeks to recreate the Soviet Union. If the Russian president succeeds in Ukraine, he will eventually invade the Baltic states as well. Since these countries are members of NATO, Germany would be directly affected, and allied obligations would be involved. This needs to be prevented, that’s why Ukraine needs help,” Christoph Heusgen pointed out.
The international Munich Security Conference opens on February 17.