Government officials have warned of anti-Russian sentiment. In Parliament, however, they use wooden hammers. A university association shows how things can be done differently
The Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine and its widespread aggression have provoked outrage in the West. Against this background, representatives of the federal government and the opposition have warned against an unbridled anti-Russian mood.
It was “Putin’s war,” said Federal Interior Minister Nancy Fasser (SPD). “We strongly oppose people being discriminated against because of their Russian descent.”
CDU general secretary Mario Zaza made the allegations tagesschau.de A “strong and growing Russophobia in our own country”. In any case, the Christian Democrats are in favor of the Russian-speaking people in Germany. “Attacking them is not right. We must work together against it.” It would be a breakthrough for Vladimir Putin’s policy if “such dissent occurs among different populations,” Cheza said.
Problem: In Bundestag, both the government and the opposition are annoying the exclusion of the Russians. After research Telepolis On February 24, the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ruling party SPD, FDP and Greens dropped Russian academics from the central parliamentary program in support of the Union faction.
While the first reports of the attack were still circulating, the WI4 department responsible for the international exchange program asked for more information. Telepolis Information available in the office of the members responsible for the suspension of the International Parliamentary Scholarship (IPS).
The ad hoc decision does not affect the military, Putin’s friends or oligarchs, but young students, many of whom are taking to the streets against the Russian president’s campaign in neighboring countries.
Of the 120 scholarships each year, eight went to the same gender equality in Russia and the United States and were the largest group in the country. Five of Russia’s current candidates have to stay home now, just like everyone else in the future.
Russia no longer has democratic values and tolerance
One could argue that an insight into parliamentary events would be especially important for young Russians nowadays. However, the description of the IPS program states that the objective is “democratic values and tolerance in plural society” and “understanding of cultural diversity”.
By bringing young people from around the world to Germany, they want to “promote peaceful coexistence in the world” and “contribute to the strengthening of Germany’s bilateral relations with the participating countries.”
When the head of the department in charge, Sibili Koch, informed the MPs about the suspension of the program, he did not initially explain what the interns had to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Repeated interrogation Telepolis The head of the department did not answer the question.
The decision by the coach’s office, which probably acted on instructions, was apparently made so hastily that even after a few days there was confusion among the parties: it was initially said that Russia was leaving the IPS “because of the invasion of Ukraine”. – The program year 2022 was dropped and was decided jointly at the political level by all parliamentary groups except AfD.
Apparently that was not true. In fact, Alexander Ulrich, the leftist reporter for the IPS program at the Bundestag, did not want to comment on the application and sent the request to parliamentary group leader Jan Corte. Korte has rejected a decision to expel Russian students from the exchange program.
This was also remembered in the Bundestag administration – after our editors asked again. Two days after the first e-mail, without further ado, it said:
In answer to your question about the conduct of voting in the present case, it can be said that the exclusion of Russian scholarship holders is based on the majority decision of the SPD parliamentary group, CDU / CSU parliamentary group, Bündnis 90 / Die. Grunen Parliamentary Group and FDP Parliamentary Group.
Link: Decision on Russian students “not supportive”
Is your decision uncomfortable for the Bundestag administration and the office of the Member of Parliament concerned? You can get that impression from the walls of silence and half-truths. The manager of the left parliamentary group has at least commented on this Telepolis-Inquiry into the subject, also out of dissatisfaction with the initially incorrect external presentation:
The administration’s presentation is incorrect. I made it clear at the meeting that this question cannot be decided on praise, but must be discussed in detail and Die Linke rejects the method. The decision is also invalid.
The IPS program clearly promotes peaceful coexistence in the world. And this goal has become less important, more important, as a result of Russia’s criminal war in Ukraine. However, an exchange with Russia is not logically possible at present because of the war alone, but of course it is something different than intentionally breaking all bridges and communications.
It’s roaring behind the scenes now. Despite all their outrage over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, independent members of parliament disagree with the sanctions imposed on their interns. But none of them want to talk in public.
Former graduates of the IPS program have now sent a letter to the Bundestag administration. They do not want to comment publicly. After all, they only joined an informal association to communicate with the Bundestag, and the association had different opinions, the request said.
Many former IPS scholarship holders now working in the Bundestag’s office, some of whom have had security checks by German authorities, also show how unreliable the administration’s alleged security concerns behind closed doors are.
Former Scholarship Holder: “Great Faith Inspires Me To This Day”
The consequences of expelling young Russians from the Bundestag scholarship program could be enormous. You got at least that impression while talking to the alumni: “Through the IPS program I learned a whole new side of German reality and immersed myself in the political life of the country,” a former scholarship holder said in a statement. Telepolis: “The experience I have gained has enriched me a lot and inspired me to get involved in society.”
As a Russian IPS intern, she enjoyed a friendly and very trusting atmosphere in the Bundestag: “This great confidence in myself still inspires me today, even in the midst of tensions between Germany and Russia, to believe that the current crisis is over.”
In the current context, continuing the program for young people from Russia would be a clear and encouraging signal to Russian civil society that Germany is open to dialogue with the Russians, he added.
Incidentally, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has shown how this can be done more intelligently. In the wake of the Kremlin’s war of aggression, universities and research associations have suspended all projects in Russia, especially with state institutions.
According to the DAAD press office, German universities have been asked to suspend current cooperation projects from Germany to Russia. “However, we have decided to keep the route from Russia to Germany open,” a spokesman said Telepolis– Claim: “Anyone who wants to come can continue, whoever has can stay anyway.”