Putin pushes for German UN Security Council seat
Germany has learned its lessons from its Nazi past and deserves a seat on the UN Security Council that reflects its position as a leading nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview on Saturday.
In a joint interview with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that appeared in Bild newspaper on Saturday, Putin said Germany has shown repentance in the 60 years since World War Two ended and taken steps to ensure there would be no more wars from Germany.
"You cannot force current and future generations of Germans to wear sackcloth and ashes forever," said Putin, in his strongest comments to date on Germany's bid for a Security Council seat after earlier stating his support late last year.
"And the country itself should not have its rights on the world stage constrained. That's why Russia supports strengthening Germany's role in the United Nations and its membership as a permanent member of the UN Security Council."
Germany, the third largest contributor to the United Nations, hopes to win a permanent seat after having secured support from at least four of its five members. Shedding the modesty stemming from its World War Two shame, Germany has raised the volume on arguments for a permanent seat.
With backing from four permanent council members Britain, France, Russia and China, Germany is confident the United States will not thwart its bid, and that the necessary two-thirds of the 191-nation General Assembly would also back its candidacy.
Germany contributes 400 million euros each year to the UN's budget and has sent 8,000 soldiers on peacekeeping missions. It has set up an informal lobby group with Japan, Brazil and India to help each other secure permanent seats.