A group of protesters heckled German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during a speech on Saturday, as she defended the government’s decision to send weapons to Ukraine. Many Western states have been increasingly supplying Kiev with arms after Russia attacked the neighboring country.
Around 1,000 people gathered to hear Baerbock speak in the northern German town of Ahrensburg. At the same time, roughly 150 attendees booed the minister and used whistles, sirens, and loudspeakers when she was on stage, police said. Some shouted “warmonger” and “liar” at Baerbock.
Police said the situation calmed down after officers intervened. One person was banned from the event.
Baerbock, who arrived in Ahrensburg to campaign for the Green Party in the regional elections, defended the decision to send weapons to Ukraine amid the Russian offensive. “We want to help the people of Ukraine so they can defend themselves against Putin’s war of aggression, which is illegal under international law,” she told the crowd, referring to the Russian president.
Baerbock also planned a campaign event in Lubeck, another city in northern Germany, on Saturday. But the speech was canceled due to security concerns after someone sprayed butyric acid on an open-air stage. The acid has an acrid smell, and can cause eye irritation and breathing problems. No one was injured in the incident.
“We will not be intimidated by such cowardly, underhanded attacks,” Emily Buning, the Greens’ political director, said.