Popular radio show host Ken Jebsen interviews Willy Wimmer, a special guest at RT's recent 10th anniversary dinner
Published on Dec. 15th, 2015: KenFM (German audio)
Russia Today’s 10th anniversary celebrations saw a wide array of prominent guests attending a gala dinner, including former and current Russian presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin, Michael Flynn (top US spy chief until 2014) and Sergei Ivanov - Putin's chief of staff to name just a few.
Respected former German politician Willy Wimmer was also among them. Wimmer served in the German Bundestag from 1976 to 2009, and was State Secretary for Defense from 1988 to 1992. He recently sat down with popular German radio show host Ken Jebsen, relating his thoughts on the event, RT's work, and his country’s relations with Russia in general.
Reflecting on the evening, he described a cordial affair, saying he “enjoyed attending the international event and the opportunity to talk to American generals and other political figures from Russia and overseas,” and rarely “experiencing such an easy way of hosting an event of that magnitude.”
Putin’s light, yet filling speech
The subject turns to Vladimir Putin’s brief speech, in part about the work the Kremlin expects from Russia Today. That it’s meant to provide fair and honest reporting of the information at hand, presenting the Russian position on occasion, and is as free as it can be; while still expected to not conspire with enemies of the Russian Federation.
“There is hardly a person in Germany's Bundestag that would deliver as much valuable content in such a short time.” According to Wimmer, ”if a capable politician like Mr. Putin is being made out to look bad in the western media as is the case now, then we are witnessing another instance of Anglo-Saxon pre-war propaganda, which itself dates back to the past world wars.”
On RT in Germany
Mr. Wimmer says that he first came into contact with RT when the crisis in Ukraine began, and that if it wasn't for the media channel’s work, we would now be much closer to war. That’s coming from the former deputy head of Germany’s OSCE government committee.
“Nevertheless, the channel faces opposition on many fronts. Due to a particular prejudice of some politicians in Germany, speaking to Russia Today can cost someone their position in Universities or have other problems forced on them.”
But since other European countries (Germany included) finance their own worldwide program broadcasters, he makes the point that “any criticism based on it being 'Russian propaganda', as is so often the focus, is senseless. Any and every debate stems from the procedure of allowing all sides have their say, giving everyone the opportunity to present their own position.”
Germany, the West and Russian relations
In his opinion, Germany’s reunification was made possible foremost by the efforts of Russia, set in motion by Mr. Gorbachev above anything else. “He, was tricked by the Americans during the process of the Soviet Union’s collapse, just as Germany was tricked after WWI, which brought us Versailles and in turn, Adolf Hitler.”
Jebsen points out the contradictory situation we are in with Russia right now; maintaining sanctions on the one hand, while trying to forge an alliance against ISIS in the Middle East at the same time. Mr. Wimmer, a member of the German Bundestag 1976 - 2009, explained that this is the result of a problem with politics in Germany.
That “there is no interest in thinking or formulating anymore, or even to try and achieve goals and conditions that are in the interests of people living in Germany. Over the years, the intellectual capability of Parliament has degraded to an extent, that it's not possible to vote for legislation, not scripted by British or American law firms.”
That in light of these circumstances, they have reached a point where Germany, itself obligated to never participate in a war again, is being progressively dragged back into fighting imperial wars.
“When we look at the situation today, what do we see? The West stands for blood and thunder and chaos. In the entire region between Kabul and Mali. Everything was flattened by us, everything. And what does the Russian Federation stand for? For the law of nations, for family values and the empowerment of faith.”
The degradation being apparent in the current refugee crisis as well, also avoidable had planned development projects of Africa’s outer regions commenced as discussed with Danish and other politicians from various European countries. “Plans that were brought to an end by American and Israeli efforts in 1994 at the latest.” Wimmer discusses this topic in a recent Sputnik interview.
Giving Russia a second thought
On the question what we should expect from Russia in the future, Mr. Wimmer answers with the same position he expressed at the gala event in Moscow:
1. That we should take care to keep our neighbors happy.
2. We should give some thought about our next visit to the US.
3. A stable and friendly relationship with Russia is in our very own interests.
4. And that we need to sell our goods worldwide.
At one point in conversation at the gala, the Russian moderator of the event said that Wimmer spoke of Russia in a better way than Russians do. He replied that “one has to give Russia a second thought. And this is the very point that counts. That you need to keep in mind who your neighbor is. We (in Germany) do this with Luxembourg too, and Russia is at least as important as Luxembourg.”
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