Although Ukraine is running out of weapons and ammunition, the federal government does not want to deliver more than it has promised so far. Although she could. Meanwhile, war fatigue is growing in Germany. It’s getting harder and harder for Ukraine to stand up to the Russians. The reasons lie with one of the country’s greatest friends.
This is how things look in the Bundestag. The Chancellor did not answer two crucial questions in the government survey: what the promised “security guarantees” for Ukraine should look like. And why it doesn’t deliver armored vehicles that German industry could deliver.
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And then, on the same day, the traffic light factions rejected a request by the Union to deliver more weapons more quickly in the parliamentary committees – also with the votes of the Greens and FDP, who, unlike the SPD, were in favor of more arms deliveries. “That’s bitter,” commented Union foreign politician Norbert Röttgen. “The Ukrainians who are struggling to survive are suffering.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz had promised Ukraine to supply the country with arms for as long as it needed to be able to withstand the Russian war of aggression. What that means in concrete terms was left open by the Social Democratic head of government. The government survey made it clear why. The federal government is sticking to its policy of not going beyond the arms that have already been promised with the arms deliveries.
Which means above all not to deliver tanks from western, allied production. Scholz calls this a “go it alone” and says it won’t happen. French President Emmanuel Macron made a corresponding statement on Tuesday. Ultimately, this means: As long as the Americans do not deliver any tanks they have produced to the Ukraine, the federal government will not do so either.
One can only speculate as to what is holding Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz back. Security expert Gustav Gressel of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) says the West is driven by fears of a third world war and that Moscow will use nuclear weapons – an assumption Gressel believes to be unfounded.
With regard to international law, which expressly allows an attacked country to be supplied with even the heaviest weapons for self-defense, Gressel regards Western non-deliveries as self-imposed restrictions. An escalation, which Russia’s head of state Vladimir Putin obviously threatened in his phone calls with Scholz and Macron, is not to be expected: After all, Russia cannot win a nuclear war either, Gressel said in a “Welt” interview.
The defense expert reminds that Russia has also not held back from supplying deadly weapons – in the Syrian war, for example, in which it provided President Assad with Russian aircraft, even flown by Russian pilots, in the fight against Kurds supported by Americans . And I didn’t let American nuclear weapons stop me.
When asked about “security guarantees” for Ukraine, Chancellor Scholz remained vague in the Bundestag, although he did not answer as rudely in Parliament as he did at the press conference after the G7 summit. When he asked a journalist from Deutsche Welle whether he could say more about the security guarantees, he replied: “I could.” And leave it at that. This had been interpreted as disrespect in a number of comments.
When asked by Union defense politician Johann Wadephul, Scholz said that these guarantees are currently being negotiated, including with Ukraine itself. However, they would not be guarantees within the meaning of Article 5 of the NATO assistance guarantee. Article 5 promises an attacked country the military assistance of the other NATO countries. Ukraine is not a member of NATO and cannot become one for the time being – the defense alliance does not include countries at war.
The European treaties have also known for some time a military assistance obligation, but this is unlikely to help Ukraine in the current defensive war against Russia. Although Ukraine has been granted candidate status, it may be more than ten years before the country becomes a member of the European Union.
Scholz’ hesitant tactics seem to hit the mood of the majority of Germans. Almost two-thirds of the population do not believe in Ukraine’s military success against Russia, according to a Forsa poll for “Stern”. And more than 50 percent believe that Ukraine will have to give up land in order to achieve peace with Russia. Which excludes the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. The 99-year-old old master Henry Kissinger brought this into play as the first voice of international importance.
The Ukraine is running out of weapons and ammunition, and the promised eleven western and German-made self-propelled howitzers can do little to change that. By spring at the very latest, Gustav Gressel calculates in concrete terms, the Ukraine will no longer be able to defend itself against the Russians.
Conclusion: Ukraine threatens, despite isolated successes on the island of snakes, to go down more and more. The West is supplying heavy weapons, but not enough and not fast enough. And the mood in Germany is turning towards war-weariness.
And for the winter, the Federal Minister of Economics, Robert Habeck, predicts “enormous price increases”.
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