Mr Putin, Stop this war

Open letter to the Russian president

Mr Putin,

“Stop the madness of this war. Now.” We emphatically agree with these words of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. There is no justification for aggressive war against Ukraine. There is no justification for hurting or killing people who are also brothers or relatives, friends, acquaintances or colleagues with many people in your country.

The German Energy Agency has been in a diverse exchange with a wide variety of actors in Russia for many years. We work together on projects and initiatives for a sustainable energy supply and greater climate protection. During these years, we have met ministers, officials of the Russian government, mayors, companies, scientists and representatives of civil society in various regions across and throughout Russia.

We know from all these talks: Russia is a strong country. Not because of its weapons, but because of its people, who are smart and committed, think about the future and show great commitment and creativity in international cooperation. The war threatens to destroy this strength and Russia's reputation. It robs the people of your country of prospects and opportunity. The military attack on your brother people in the Ukraine signals nothing other than that you have lost confidence in the real strength of your own country, Russia.

We urge you to end this war immediately and return to the negotiating table to achieve lasting security in Europe. Then, as a united, secure Europe, let us tackle all the unsolved global tasks together again.

With this concern, the German Energy Agency stands closely by the side of our project partners in Ukraine. These people, their families, friends and acquaintances deserve our special solidarity, particularly in these days, as these people are the victims of this war of aggression. We are impressed by their courage and determination, about their commitment to freedom and self-determination. We are impressed by how these strong personalities have worked with us on the future of their country over the years. We know many of Ukraine’s friends and family live in Russia. What these people have built up over many years and in their everyday life in terms of connections between Russia and Ukraine is now being destroyed by this war; this war, which cannot be justified by anything.

We are gravely concerned. For the people of Ukraine. But also for the people who, in your name, dear Mr. President, have to wage war against their brothers, who are risking their lives - and all too often, will also lose them.

Mr. Putin: End this war.

Management and employees of the German Energy Agency