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BERLIN, April 08, /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian crisis does not threaten the world with a war, ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Tuesday on Germany's ZDF television.
“There is no [such threat],” Schroeder said.
“Comparisons with 1914, in my opinion, are absolutely wrong,” he said, adding that such comparisons “rather serve escalation of tensions than de-escalation”. He did not explain what exactly he meant.
Schroeder defended his own statements on Crimea, made earlier when he compared the situation around the Crimean Peninsula with Kosovo. The former German head of government said he realizes that the two cases differ. “Bur formally what I said is true,” he said.
In early March, Schroeder said his own government violated international law back in 1999 in Yugoslavia, when NATO bombed Serbia during the Kosovo crisis without any support from the UN Security Council.
The Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum March 16 in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The reunification deal with Moscow was signed March 18.
The developments followed a coup in Ukraine in February after months of anti-government protests, which often turned violent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials have repeatedly stated that the Crimean referendum complied with the international law and the UN Charter, and was also in line with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008.
Despite that, the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian leadership and the West claim the plebiscite in Crimea was illegal and do not recognize Crimea part of Russia.