German Chancellor defends Ukraine policies

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday defended his decisions on Ukraine, rejecting criticisms that he has been acting too slowly while also batting off calls to halt weapons deliveries to Kyiv.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks at the start of the cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on April 27th, 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks at the start of the cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on April 27th, 2022. Photo by Michael Kappeler / POOL / AFP

“I make my decisions quickly and in coordination with our allies,” he told Bild on Sunday. “I am suspicious of hasty action and Germany going it alone.”

Scholz has come under fire over the last weeks for not taking rapid action or doing enough to provide desperately sought armaments to Ukraine.

The German parliament on Thursday passed a motion urging his government to accelerate the deliveries of heavy weapons to Kyiv.

While pressed by some to step up the pace on weapons deliveries, Scholz was at the same time facing pressure from other critics who want Germany to stop boosting Ukraine militarily.

Twenty-eight prominent German writers, philosophers and singers urged in an open letter published on Friday for Scholz to stop sending heavy arms to Ukraine.

They warned that the action risked escalating the conflict into a nuclear war and could also cost more Ukrainian lives.

But Scholz, speaking at a May Day rally on Sunday, rejected the call as from another time.

“I respect every pacifism and attitude,” he said. “But it must seem cynical to Ukraine’s citizens when they are told to defend themselves against Putin’s aggression without weapons. That is out of date,” he added.


Member comments

  1. I’d say Germany is managing this crisis delicately and correct, you want to approach this situation in a way that shows Germany is not provoking Russia while at the same time defending Ukraine.

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Germany says no decision yet on Leopard tanks for Ukraine

Germany will help Ukraine to win the war against Russia, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said Tuesday, adding however that a decision has yet to be made on whether Berlin would supply Leopard tanks to Kyiv.

Germany says no decision yet on Leopard tanks for Ukraine

“We are supporting Ukraine not to lose this war, to win it against Russia,” Pistorius said in an interview with the broadcaster ZDF.

“And to that end, Germany is doing more than practically any other ally except the US,” he said.

Asked when Germany was planning to make a decision on German-made Leopard tanks long sought by Kyiv, Pistorius said it was not up to him.

“This decision will be made in the chancellery,” he said.

He also defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz against accusations of dithering on whether to approve the delivery of Leopards.

READ ALSO: Germany faces backlash over refusal to give Ukraine tanks

“Taking the lead does not mean blindly going ahead,” he said. “And if the decision takes another day or two, then that’s just the way it is,” he said.

Pistorius took office last week at a crucial time for the German defence ministry as the country faces intense international pressure to endorse the
delivery of Leopard tanks.

While scores of nations have pledged military hardware, Kyiv is clamouring for the more powerful Leopard — seen as key to punching through enemy lines.

The tanks are used by several EU nations, but these countries require Berlin’s permission to send the German-made armaments on to Ukraine under Germany’s war weapons control act.

READ ALSO: Leopard 2: What is the German tank long sought by Ukraine?

Poland on Monday upped the pressure on Berlin by saying it would be prepared to go ahead and deliver the tanks without permission.

But Pistorius, who will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin later on Tuesday, insisted there was no division among Ukraine’s Western allies.

Observers would be “well advised not to wantonly conjure up this supposed division within NATO”, he said.