- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

German President Joachim Gauck said Russia has “effectively severed its partnership” with Europe and accused President Putin of trying to bring about a new world order — with his nation at the helm.

“We want partnership and good neighborly relations [with Russia],” but only if Mr. Putin and Moscow change track and “return to respect for the rights of nations,” Mr. Gauck said, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We believed and wanted to believe that Russia too — the country of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky — could be part of Europe,” he went on. “It was a shock when we were confronted with a new conflict on Europe’s borders. An armed conflict aimed at establishing new borders and new order. It’s a fact — stability and peace on our continent are once again endangered.”

Mr. Gauck referred to the post-Cold War deal that saw Russia, the European Union, NATO and the industrialized nations all strike a peace agreement.

“Russia has effectively severed this partnership,” he said, AFP reported.

Mr. Gauck’s sour statement came on the heels of another gloom and doom statement made by Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, just a few hours earlier, in which he predicted war could very well spread beyond the boundaries of eastern Ukraine.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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