BERLIN, July 18 — The European Union can no longer afford to keep national vetoes when deciding on European Union foreign and security policy if it wants to maintain a leading role in global politics, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.

Moscow’s war in Ukraine makes unity in Europe ever more urgent and increases pressure for an end to “selfish blockades” of European decisions by individual member states, Scholz said in an article published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Sunday.

“We simply can no longer afford national vetoes, for example in foreign policy, if we want to continue to be heard in a world of competing great powers,” he added.

Scholz has faced criticism from Kyiv and other western allies that Germany has not taken a leadership position on the Ukraine crisis, a charge Scholz has denied.

The invasion, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, caused major shift in Germany’s defence policy after decades of military restraint.

The conflict has also pushed Berlin towards a more active foreign policy role globally, benefiting from its presidency of the Group of Seven industrialised nations this year.

Scholz said the G7 and other countries could work together to find solutions for the world’s food crisis, climate change and the pandemic if Germany takes responsibility for Europe and the world.

He said Germany would make proposals for joint European migration policy, building European defence, technological sovereignty and democratic resilience in the coming months. — Reuters