Even before Monday’s government briefing in Berlin began, Federal German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made it clear: “There will be no congratulatory message to Putin,” the presidency’s spokeswoman told his Tagesspiegel newspaper on Sunday evening. Berlin. The president himself commented on the outcome of the election as follows, via the X platform: “My thoughts today are with the people in Russia, who are fighting for Freedom and Democracy and are constantly at risk from the Putin regime.”

And Chancellor Olaf Solz’s reaction? Responding to reporters’ questions about the election result in Russia on Monday afternoon, deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann clarified that “the chancellor did not send congratulations. You know that we do not consider the so-called elections that took place over the weekend in Russia to be neither free nor fair.”

And not only that: “In Russia there is no freedom of opinion. As the chancellor has already pointed out, Russia is a dictatorship, in which Vladimir Putin rules in an authoritarian manner,” the government spokeswoman said. “It was the most unfree election since the time of the Soviet Union,” adds Michael Roth, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Parliament.

Illegal» ballot boxes in possessions» lands

The fact that Russia set up polling stations even in occupied or disputed territories, such as eastern Ukraine, is particularly provoking to Berlin. “Of course we do not recognize this under any circumstances,” the government spokeswoman said. “Only Ukraine would have the right to hold elections in these territories. This is our view on the so-called elections and that is why the chancellor did not send congratulations.”

On the same wavelength, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Analena Berbock, attending the meeting of the Foreign Ministers. of the EU in Brussels at noon on Monday, said that “the elections in Russia were elections without a real right to choose. The conduct of these elections shows Putin’s ruthless behavior not only towards his own people, but also towards the Charter of the United Nations. It is a violation of international law to allegedly hold elections on the territories of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.”