Despite shortages, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ own coalition members want him to put Ukraine’s military before Germany’s
Germany must stop supplying more weapons to Ukraine, according to its defense ministry. Despite the military reaching the “acceptable limit” of what it can send, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under intense pressure to keep the arms flowing to Kiev.
“We went to the acceptable limit when selling Bundeswehr stocks,”On Monday, Christine Lambrecht’s spokesman told Der Spiegel that the statement was made by Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. This came just days after the German news outlet had published a guest piece from Sara Nanni and Kristian Krinck asking for Germany to boost its weapon deliveries to Ukraine.
“The capability profile of the Bundeswehr (German military) can and should temporarily take a back seat to the sustainability of Ukraine in the current critical situation. Because Ukraine’s survival is in Germany’s security policy interest,” the trio, who represent the three parties in Germany’s coalition government, wrote.
Since the beginning of Russia’s military operation in February, Chancellor Scholz has come under persistent criticism for his apparent reluctance to gift Ukraine with the weapons it has requested. Although Berlin sent anti-aircraft tanks and shoulder-fired missiles as well as artillery pieces and artillery rockets to support its military operation, Ukraine requested more artillery radar systems and air-defense equipment.
Germany’s military was in a severely depleted state long before February, with a 2019 report revealing that fewer than 20% of the country’s 68 Tiger combat helicopters and fewer than 30% of its 136 Eurofighter jets were operational. It was also revealed that ammunition stock levels were very low, as well as the fact that soldiers had lost essential gear such as boots and clothing.
Despite Scholz announcing an ambitious program of rearmament in March, and despite the fact that the Bundeswehr’s budget has increased from €37 billion ($36 billion) in 2017 to €50 billion ($49 billion) this year, the military has not yet remedied these deficiencies.
As far back as March, Lambrecht was describing the Bundeswehr’s stocks as “exhausted,” and Scholz has also had to balance his stated desire to support Ukraine’s forces with his insistence that Germany shouldn’t send equipment powerful enough to escalate the conflict.
The situation is further compounded by Germany’s promises to replenish the stocks of its allies, who are sending their own stocks of heavy weapons to Ukraine in exchange for replacement equipment from Germany.
Scholz insists that Berlin has sufficient supplies despite these restrictions. “a lot of weapons”Ukraine, will give Ukraine the same support as Kiev. “what it needs for its defense.”These comments were made by Scholz after Klaus Wittmann, a retired Bundeswehr general, accused him of lacking in intelligence. “leadership”And of being seen “intimidated”Vladimir Putin, Russian President