When asked “Why hasn’t Germany delivered any heavy weapons to the Ukraine?”, “Anne Will” brings out heavy artillery, at least verbally. Retired Colonel Kiesewetter finds Chancellor Olaf Scholz isolating Germany. The German-Ukrainian publicist Marina Weisband rumors about “interdependencies”.
It took half an hour for CDU member of the Bundestag Roderich Kiesewetter to tell Anne Will what he really thought of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “I think the chancellor is playing for time,” says the retired colonel. Because Scholz could have sent heavy military equipment such as martens and leopards to Ukraine long ago. But Scholz did not approve the export. “I’m afraid the Chancellor doesn’t want Ukraine to win.”
Kiesewetter is why Scholz doesn’t want that, although it’s “a mystery” himself. The Bundestag gave the Chancellor “tailwind” for arms exports. Kiesewetter goes one step further. French President Emmanuel Macron blows the same horn as Scholz. “Macron and Scholz are isolating themselves in Europe.” In Ukraine, this attitude is already taken for granted.
“That’s absurd,” counters military expert Carlo Masala. The professor of international politics at the Bundeswehr University in Munich cannot imagine that France and Germany would not want a direct winner so that the Ukraine would remain a kind of buffer zone. In fact, however, heavy weapons were talked about very late in Germany. “Germany is more on the crippling side,” says Masala. “According to the German soul, we chose fear.”
These fears are rather unfounded. NATO will certainly not be drawn into this military conflict and he also does not see the great danger of a nuclear escalation. In this respect, Masala currently considers a ceasefire and negotiations with Putin to be wrong. “Putin is sitting on twice as much territory as before. He won’t give that back. It’s not a strategy.” It’s better to enable Ukraine to reclaim land.
SPD member of the Bundestag Michael Roth occasionally shook his head in response to the discussions. Above all, the accusation that Scholz would use a delaying tactic clearly annoys him. “I am for arms deliveries,” says the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “But it’s not all as easy as it looks.” 60,000 rounds of ammunition have now been collected from the Bundeswehr for the heavy device and inquiries have also been made from Greeks, Brazilians and Swiss. All with moderate success. Then the training of the Ukrainians on the device would not be unproblematic.
Roth also does not accept the criticism that the federal government is doing too little with sanctions. “I wonder what film I’m actually in here.” The oil sanction is blocked by Hungary and the NATO accession of Sweden and Finland is blocked in turn by Turkey. However, he at least agrees with the other panellists that, with Putin, only discussions from a position of strength make sense. “He’s a bad butcher. He doesn’t care if ten, twenty or fifty thousand Russian soldiers die.”
Military expert Carlo Masala draws attention to another problem. The war could last several more months and Ukraine is increasingly at risk of gradually losing foreign support. The current situation is that the Russians have dug themselves in deep in the east because they are preparing for Ukraine’s counter-offensive. “The longer the war lasts, the more attention recedes and states do less and less.”
In addition, the aim of the war is not clearly defined.” With a view to such attacks, the USA want to see Russia militarily weakened for decades. And the question of which exact area Ukraine wants back – with or without Crimea and with or without Donbass – is also unclear. “War is a dynamic process to which we must adapt. But we are not discussing it, either in NATO or in the EU.”
Jan van Aken (left) especially doesn’t want to talk about the saber rattling. The man from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation on international crisis and conflict areas is of the opinion that civilian funds are far from exhausted. “We’ve been talking about it for three months now, but there are hardly any sanctions.” Every day, 320 million euros are transferred to Putin just for oil. “That is the opposite of sanction. We’re talking guns, but we need to be talking about the right guns. The sanctions package that is in place now is ridiculous.”
In his view, one of these “strongest weapons” is to sanction Russia’s oligarchs. These rich Russians are the basis of Putin’s power. “You have to hit them,” says Jan van Aken. “But that won’t be done.” The German-Ukrainian publicist Marina Weisband has an idea of how to hit Putin harder. The money for Putin’s energy exports must be paid into an escrow account. “Putin will only get the money when he withdraws behind the borders of Ukraine.”
Publicist Marina Weisband is also dissatisfied with the role of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “I would have liked the Chancellor to say he wanted Ukraine to win.” Scholz had to “stand behind it” unconditionally. But he doesn’t do that.
Weisband also thinks little of Scholz’s call for a ceasefire. That is wrong in the current situation. That means that Putin can appropriate these areas. “Scholz does not show any clear line in his policy. The German-Ukrainian publicist suspects that there are many reasons for this. This certainly includes a certain “habit” of German politics and also “interdependencies” about which she does not want to speculate.