German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statement on Ukraine’s NATO membership taken out of context

By: Emmi Kivi
June 4 2024

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statement on Ukraine’s NATO membership taken out of context

Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts


The Verdict Misleading

Scholz's comment was shared without context. It was made in 2022 and repeated at a recent event in reference to the previous talks.

Claim ID 13c05d39


Users on X, formerly Twitter, shared a 10-second video clip of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with captions like: “German Chancellor Scholz: “Ukraine in NATO? Probably not for the next 30 years.” 

These posts were shared with a banner stating “Citizens’ dialogue with Chancellor Scholz”, dated May 26, 2024 (translated from German).

Some online users shared the clip with the comment, "#Ukraine won’t join NATO for another 30 years — Olaf Scholz. The German chancellor said that Berlin supports Kiev in every possible way, preventing a conflict between the alliance and #Russia is an equally important task.”

Logically Facts found that the video clip omits the context of Scholz's speech. The Chancellor was recalling talks with Putin in February 2022 when commenting on Ukraine’s NATO membership at the Citizens’ Dialogue event in Berlin.

In fact

Scholz participated in a Citizens’ Dialogue event on Sunday, May 26, during the Festival of Democracy in Berlin.

During the discussion, Scholz recalled his meeting with the Russian President in Moscow in February 2022 when answering questions on German foreign policy [from 16.45].

While speaking on Germany’s support for Ukraine, Scholz recalled his four-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2022, right before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to Scholz, Putin argued that “Belarus and Ukraine are actually part of Russia” and stated that Ukraine joining NATO is a reason for the military escalation. 

To this, Scholz recalled responding: “ I told him... you know the decisions, that is not imminent. Probably not for the next 30 years either," [between 19.40–20.40].

The viral clips omit the context of Scholz’s statement and suggest the Chancellor expressed his current view on Ukraine’s NATO membership. German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit stated to the news outlet Bild: “The situation has changed completely. So NO, the 30 years do not apply” when asked if Scholz still thinks the same today (translated from German). 

On February 15, 2022, the German Chancellor met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in a diplomatic effort to avert war between Ukraine and Russia, Euronews reported. Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. 

The verdict

The online posts omit the full context of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s speech at the Citizen’s Dialogue on May 26. During the speech, Scholz spoke about the future of Ukraine’s NATO membership when recalling his talks with Putin before the full-scale invasion in February 2022. He did not express a recent opinion that Ukraine will not probably join NATO in the next 30 years. Therefore, we marked the claim as misleading.

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