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Scholz: Putin Doesn’t Have the Slightest Right to Quote Kant

Putin’s war of aggression contradicts all of Kant’s fundamental statements, said the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz in a speech on the occasion of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences' ceremony to mark Kant’s 300th birthday, on April 22.

“Putin doesn’t have the slightest right to quote Kant […] Nevertheless, Putin’s regime remains committed to appropriating Kant and his work at almost any cost,” said Scholz.

What connects Kant to Russia is his hometown of Königsberg, which he never left. Previously, Königsberg served as the capital for the dukes of Prussia and later held the status of being the capital of East Prussia. However, in 1945, the city was handed over to the Soviet Union according to the terms of the Potsdam Agreement and was renamed Kaliningrad.

Putin proposed to make Kant the symbol of the Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation back in 2013. This year, he has repeatedly mentioned the German thinker in his speeches, calling him “personally close to him”.

In his speech, Scholz noted that today Kant has become a symbol of Kaliningrad and that Putin’s regime is trying to appropriate him and his works, which it has no right to do so because Russia’s war against Ukraine contradicts all the fundamental statements of the philosopher.

The Chancellor emphasized Kant’s assertion that no country has the right to interfere violently in the affairs of another state, a principle known as the Kantian Theory of International Law. Yet, the destruction that Russia is causing in Ukraine reveals a blatant disregard for Kant’s principle and exposes a desire for destruction the scale of which few could have imagined.

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