(Berlin) Most of the deputies of the far-right German party AfD as well as the elected representatives of a left-wing sovereignist party boycotted Tuesday the speech before the Bundestag by Volodymyr Zelensky, who was worried about the echo of the rhetoric pro-Russian in Europe.

When he ascended to the lectern of the lower house of the German parliament to applause, the Ukrainian president found himself faced with seats left empty by almost all of the 77 deputies of the German far-right party AfD. Only four elected representatives had taken their seats on the benches of the hemicycle.

Same choice of boycott on the side of the 10 deputies of the radical left party BSW, recently created by a figure on the German political scene Sahra Wagenknecht on a sovereignist line.

Both parties accepted their decision: “We refuse to listen to a speaker in camouflage,” the AfD leadership explained in a statement, believing that “Ukraine does not need a president of war, but a president of peace.”  

The BSW movement says it wants to send “a sign of solidarity with all those Ukrainians who want an immediate ceasefire and a negotiated solution,” an official told AFP.

For these two parties, Sunday’s European elections were a success: the AfD came in second place in the vote with almost 16% of the vote, behind the conservatives.  

With a critical speech on immigration and arms deliveries to Ukraine, the BSW party exceeded 6% of the vote, completely eclipsing the historic far-left movement die Linke (2.7%) from which Ms. Wagenknecht.

Visiting Berlin on the occasion of an international conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky expressed concern about the electoral success of groups “with radical pro-Russian slogans”.

It is “dangerous for your countries,” he said at a press conference alongside Olaf Scholz.

He also called on his country’s allies to increase their air defense aid.

“It is the terror of missiles and bombs that helps Russian troops advance on the ground,” Zelensky told a panel of senior European officials.

“As long as we do not deprive Russia of the possibility of terrorizing Ukraine (Russian President Vladimir) Putin will have no real interest in seeking a fair peace,” he argued, swearing that “air defense is the answer.”

The Ukrainian leader’s diplomatic agenda is busy with a trip to Italy for the G7 leaders’ summit on Thursday and then the “Conference on Peace in Ukraine” which will bring together more than 90 countries and organizations on Saturday and Sunday in Switzerland, but not Russia nor China.

The German chancellor agreed with Zelensky, urging Western allies to do more to enable Ukraine to protect its vital and civilian infrastructure.

“What the Ukrainian army needs most today is ammunition and weapons, especially for air defense,” he said, recalling in particular that Berlin recently decided to deliver a third air defense system. Patriot air defense.  

Olaf Scholz reaffirmed that there would be “no military victory or peace dictated” by Vladimir Putin.

“Promoting this awareness is the challenge of the peace summit which will meet this weekend in Switzerland,” declared the leader.

Energy security and the restoration of the Ukrainian electricity grid will also be at the center of discussions in Switzerland.

Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that Russian bombing of energy infrastructure had led to Ukraine’s electricity production being halved since the winter.

According to him, 80% of thermal production and a third of hydroelectric production were destroyed by Russian strikes, which in recent months targeted numerous Ukrainian power plants, after a bombing campaign the previous year which had already led to massive cuts.

As a result of the Russian strikes, the national operator Ukrenergo announced on Tuesday that it would extend power rationing across the country, with restrictions planned from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time).