Bundescancer Olaf Scholz (SPD) has defended the federal government’s decision not to deliver armored personnel carriers or battle tanks to Ukraine. The principle applies not to go it alone, he said on Saturday. At the same time, Scholz emphasized that the weapons made available by Germany had also made the current successes “that Ukraine is recording possible”. Regarding his phone calls with Vladimir Putin, Scholz said that the Russian President had “definitely made changes”, albeit not very far-reaching.
Scholz said on Deutschlandfunk that only the German arms deliveries had persuaded many other European countries to join. It makes “sense that we continue there”.
Regarding his talks with Putin, Scholz said that the talks “always remained friendly in tone”, even if there were “very, very different, even very different views on the matter” that he had clearly presented. On Tuesday, the chancellor spent 90 minutes on the phone with Putin, demanding the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
“Poisonous offer of negotiations” to Ukraine
With a view to his upcoming visit to the UN General Assembly, Scholz called for not doing what Putin would like. The Russian President always speaks of a global West conspiring against the rest of the world. That is not the case, emphasized the Chancellor. There are many countries in the world which may not be democracies but which do not invade their neighbors and which have a more or less developed constitutional system. All of these countries are interlocutors for him, said Scholz.
The Russian ambassador to Germany, Sergey Nechayev, warned Germany against arms deliveries to Ukraine. “The delivery of weapons is a way to a dead end,” he told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper”. “This will prolong the fighting. That means additional sacrifices.”
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth (SPD), told the “FAS”: “I would not be surprised if, in view of the dramatic losses of the past few days, the Kremlin soon made a poisoned offer to negotiate with Ukraine in order to secure the occupied territories.” However, a peace based on the status quo would be an invitation to Russia to “continue to pursue its imperialist and fascist policies,” Roth warned.
The deputy committee chairman Jürgen Hardt (CDU) does not believe that Putin would survive the negotiations politically. The Russian President has “no interest in serious negotiations that would also mean his end”.
The chairman of the Bundeswehr Association, André Wüstner, warned against further deliveries of weapons from Bundeswehr stocks. “We understand Ukraine’s desire for heavy weapons only too well. We can imagine, for example, handing over armored personnel carriers from the stocks of the industry,” he told the RND newspapers on Saturday. “What is no longer possible from our point of view as a professional association, however, is the delivery of weapons and ammunition to the Bundeswehr.”
Wüstner warned: “Every single delivery leads to a weakening of the Bundeswehr.” He added: “Many in the Bundeswehr fear that this policy of further cannibalization of our troops will have negative effects.” This does not only affect the “sometimes precarious material operational readiness ’ or the NATO obligations, but in particular training and practice ‘as a prerequisite for everything’.