Calls to give heavy weapons to Ukraine divide German government


Mr Scholz said Germany, which had under-equipped its military for decades, could not afford to give Ukraine more weapons of its own and still meet its national and NATO defense obligations.

“We have to recognize that the capabilities we have are reaching their limits,” he said.

His stance on sending tanks and other heavy weapons to Ukraine, however, remained vague, and he would not clarify to journalists afterwards whether Berlin would allow German defense contractors to sell such weapons to Ukraine.

When asked by a reporter whether he would respond to Ukraine’s demands for Leopard tanks, Mr Scholz replied: “Looking at the world sometimes helps. In this case, it leads to the realization that those who are in a similar position to Germany are acting in the same way as we are.”

It was an ill-timed response, as the Netherlands had announced hours earlier that it would supply Ukraine with heavy weapons, including armored vehicles.

“Scholz doesn’t care about public perceptions,” said Mr. schmid. “He focuses on action. And he doesn’t like to do things that are based on public debate.”

In response to the debate, Mr. Scholz appeared taciturn, even sarcastic. His frustration was especially evident after a delegation of Bundestag members visited Ukraine last week – a move that reportedly discouraged his chancellery.

The delegation consisted of Ms Strack-Zimmermann from the FDP, Mr Hofreiter from the Greens and Michael Roth from the SPD. They all supported the demand for heavy weapons and called on the chancellor to show stronger leadership.

A few days later, in a televised interview, he said: “To the boys and girls I have to say, the fact that I’m not just doing what you want shows that I’m a leader.”

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