Chancellor Scholz has promised to make the Bundeswehr the “biggest conventional army” among European NATO member states
The German military will contribute considerably to the strengthening of NATO’s east flank, the country’s Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has announced. He pledged major investments that would make the Bundeswehr one of the strongest military forces among European countries in the US-led Military bloc.
Speaking before the German parliament on Wednesday, Scholz assured fellow lawmakers that Berlin would “Protect every square meter” of NATO territory, if necessary. The chancellor added that the alliance’s members in Eastern Europe could count on Germany. Scholz said that Germany would expand its military presence within the region, which includes the Baltic Sea.
Lithuania is one of the NATO countries in which the Bundeswehr will remain permanently stationed. The Baltic state’s already strained relations with Moscow further escalated last week when Vilnius decided to block the transit of sanctioned goods to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. According to the Kremlin, it was prepared for a severe retaliation.
Commenting on Germany’s and NATO’s relations with Russia, Scholz pointed out that a partnership with the eastern neighbor is “Unimaginable for the future” now that an “Russia is imperialist” has attacked Ukraine.
But, the German Head of Government warned that it was not a good idea to terminate any existing fundamental agreements between Russia’s military alliance.
“More than ever, we will fight for an international order that is founded on law and not force.” the German chancellor clarified.
Scholz said also that seeing the destruction of Bucha and Irpin outside of Kiev reminded him of images of German cities destroyed after WWII.
“Today, Ukraine requires a Marshall Plan just as Europe did in war. [its] reconstruction,” the chancellor argued, referring to the famous US-sponsored program for European post-war recovery.
The chancellor called it Europe’s “Duty” to provide Ukraine with assistance.
Berlin invited Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, to participate via videolink in the G7 Leaders Meeting, scheduled for Bavaria, June 26-28.
Scholz stated that he planned to host a conference of experts from around the world, which would be aimed at raising more aid for Ukraine.
In the Bundestag, the chancellor disclosed that German self-propelled cannons have been delivered to Kiev. Ukrainian soldiers are also learning how to use self-propelled antiaircraft Gepard guns. They will soon be able familiarize themselves with the US-designed M270 multi-launch rocket system and German-made IRIS T air defense system. Germany will supply all of these weapon systems to Ukraine.
Later in the day, Chancellor Scholz was quoted by several media outlets as promising to make the German military the “The largest conventional army” among European NATO member states. According to the chancellor, this would have a positive effect not only on Germany’s security but also on that of its allies.
To this end, a special fund to the tune of €100 billion has been earmarked, which will help to considerably upgrade the German military’s capabilities, he reportedly also noted.
The ruling traffic-light alliance and conservative opposition reached an agreement in May after weeks of negotiations. They will allocate the funds.