According to several sources, Germany will only supply main battle tanks to Ukraine if the United States does the same. Pressure from Germany and abroad is mounting on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to either allow or authorize the delivery of German-made Leopard 2 tanks. Poland and Finland have pledged to supply Leopard tanks, subject to Germany’s agreement. However, Berlin is still in talks with Washington about its official stance.
A statement is expected after tomorrow’s summit of Ukraine’s western partners at the American Ramstein military base in south-west Germany. If US President Joe Biden approves the supply of American Abrams tanks, it is understood that Scholz will approve the Leopard tanks. As Kyiv calls for the tanks, senior Pentagon National Security Advisor Colin Kahl said late Thursday that the United States must prepare to meet the demand. Reports of a standoff between Berlin and Washington over the tank issue, according to a senior German government official quoted by the BBC, are exaggerated but worry Ukraine’s western friends.
Western battle tanks, and in sufficient numbers, are considered essential if Ukraine is to defeat Russia, or at least defend itself against President Putin’s planned spring attack. So far only the UK has promised to supply them. Armored vehicles, anti-aircraft systems and other heavy equipment were supplied or promised by other countries such as Germany, France and the United States. Kyiv, meanwhile, has increased its requests for tanks.
Why is Mr. Scholz Delaying The Delivery?
As German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said a week or two ago, all indications are that he will allow third countries to supply their Leopard tanks. However, Mr. Scholz has not yet made any commitments. He is particularly cautious for a number of reasons. Germany is concerned about an escalation and how Russian President Vladimir Putin might respond to offensive arms supplies, although these concerns are less pronounced now than in the past. This way of thinking needs to be revised by many knowledgeable people. And in Berlin, where the past of World War II still casts a long shadow over the country, the idea of German tanks on Ukrainian soil still lingers uneasily.
Although Scholz has proclaimed a “watershed” in German defense and military policy in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he is aware that less than a year ago it would have been unimaginable that the German government would have engaged in a battle with armaments involved. The Chancellor keeps an eye on the polls in his own country. A senior government official told me that, contrary to his policies and achievements in many other areas, polls show that the public is generally satisfied with his response to the situation in Ukraine. A recent poll by state broadcaster found that 41% of respondents believe Germany is providing adequate military assistance. In comparison, 26% thought German support went too far and 25% thought Germany should send more arms.
Role of Germany in International Affairs
Despite assurances from Mr Scholz that Germany will play a more prominent military role in international affairs, years of underinvestment have left the country’s armed forces in a precarious state. Rheinmetall, the manufacturer of the Leopard fighter jets, has warned that the necessary repairs and preparations will take several additional months even if the German Chancellor approves the delivery. Concerned that he appears to be working independently, Scholz is keen to coordinate with friends, particularly in the United States. Therefore, an announcement is not to be expected before tomorrow’s summit in Ramstein. However, his stance has provoked outrage and criticism in world political and security circles.
They argue that Germany, which remains a political powerhouse, should live up to expectations in terms of its military prowess. So if you’re looking for more global news or entertainment news, such as online casino bonus no deposit reviews , then visit this website.
This article is originally published on fireworld.at