Since the start of the Ukrainian war, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz (Social Democratic Party) has been criticized for being too cautious in his support of Ukraine.
Schultz’s criticism came from fellow party members and allies, and from political dissidents.
Among those hard hit was opposition leader Friedrich Merz of the German Christian Democrats.
Last week, he shot his prime minister, saying he was procrastinating on the decision to send heavy weapons to Ukraine unnecessarily, and said Schultz was a coward.
On Sunday, it became clear that Merz decided to travel to Kyiv in protest of the inaction of his prime minister, who has not yet visited Ukraine, he wrote. Watchman.
Germany has already sent large quantities of anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, ammunition, grenades and mines to Ukraine.
However, it became clear on Thursday that the prime minister bowed to pressure, agreeing to allow Ukraine to buy German weapons. The decision was supported by a wide majority in the German Bundestag.
In addition, Germany will help replace the weapons and vehicles that the country’s allies are sending to Ukraine.
According to the plan, they will provide Slovenia with German armored vehicles to replace the ones sent east by Slovenia. In addition, Germany will send bombers directly to Ukraine and allow Kiev to purchase tanks with anti-aircraft guns directly from Germany, NTB writes.
Can’t be intimidated
Despite the “breakthrough weapons”, many still believe that Schultz did not do enough. Among those who spoke was the criticism of the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrei Melnik.
According to the Guardian, he said it was not close enough support, and asked the prime minister for more “imagination and courage”.
To the German tabloid Bild, Schulz responded to the criticism:
I make my choices quickly and in cooperation with our allies. I am not afraid to be intimidated by such allegations.
He stressed that he would not be pressured to change his opinion, despite the poor opinion polls.
Surveys should be written down, but you shouldn’t work on them alone. Schultz said that especially in matters of war and peace, it can be very dangerous.
Cautious in an open letter
Last week, a number of celebrities and other prominent Germans warned Schulz in an open letter Against sending heavy weapons to Ukraine.
The letter stated that Vladimir Putin had violated international law by starting the war – but it did not justify “the escalation of this war into a nuclear conflict”.
A total of 28 people signed the letter, including feminist Alice Schwarzer, author Martin Walser and science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar.
– We hope that you will reconsider your original position and not provide, directly or indirectly, additional heavy weapons to Ukraine, the letter says.
On the contrary, we urge you to contribute to a ceasefire – to a compromise that both sides can agree on.
German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said last week that delivering heavier weapons to Ukraine would not make Germany a partner in the fighting, while Foreign Minister Annalena Barbock stated that it was no longer a taboo to deliver tanks to Ukraine even though “it may seem so in the German controversy.” ».
A number of other countries have also promised to provide heavy military equipment to Ukraine recently, including France and Britain, as well as the United States.
Norway has already sent anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment worth at least NOK 250 million to Ukraine. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store (Labour) previously stated that Norway is considering contributing more.
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