leaders name new defense minister’s strengths


Boris Pistorius’ vast experience and “big heart” make him the right person for the role, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has appointed Boris Pistorius as the new defense minister after the resignation of Christine Lambrecht on Monday. The Der Spiegel media outlet had previously reported that the politician who serves as Lower Saxony’s interior minister would take over the position.

Scholz confirmed the appointment in a tweet Tuesday, calling Pistorius a “excellent politician.”

“With his experience, competence and assertiveness, as well as his big heart, he is just the right person for the Bundeswehr at the turn of the century.” Scholz wrote.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Robert Habeck, who is also Vice Chancellor, described Pistorius as a “very experienced politician who has the necessary guts in difficult situations.”

Habeck argued that Lower Saxony’s interior minister is taking over the post at a crucial time for Berlin to succeed “important decisions.” Habeck selected the “urgent question how we further support Ukraine in its right to self-defense.”

Speaking to Bloomberg Television in the Swiss city of Davos on Tuesday, while attending the annual World Economic Forum, the vice chancellor spoke out in favor of authorizing the shipment of German-made tanks to Ukraine, both from home and from other European operators, such as Poland and Finland.

He hinted that this will be Pistorius’ first task in his new job.

“I claim we will,” said Habeck, and added “If America decides they will bring main battle tanks to Ukraine, it will make it easier for Germany.” He referenced the history of Germany as he explained why his country has become a “a little more reserved there for understandable reasons.”

The Vice Chancellor insisted that Ukraine must get “all the military equipment needed to win the war.” According to Habeck, however, there is a red line: Germany itself should not interfere “in a Third World War.”

In recent weeks, pressure has mounted on Berlin, with several countries urging the green light for the delivery of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, even if they come from other countries’ stocks.

However, Chancellor Scholz has so far been reluctant to do so.

Russia has repeatedly warned that supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict. Moreover, according to the Kremlin, they increase the chance of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.

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