'I don't blame myself': Merkel defends legacy on Russia and Ukraine

BERLIN — Angela Merkel defended her diplomatic legacy as German chancellor Tuesday, rejecting accusations that her policies while leading Europe’s largest economy for 16 years were indirectly to blame for Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine.

In her first public interview since leaving office in December, Merkel argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin would have fully invaded his neighboring country much earlier if she and other allies had not taken controversial decisions such as blocking Ukraine’s membership bid for the NATO military alliance in 2008, or negotiating the Minsk peace accords in 2014 and 2015, which Ukraine viewed as disadvantageous for its own security.

“I don’t blame myself,” Merkel told

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