Ukrainian War – Scholz Says: Don’t Go It Alone. And go alone

“Look around what others who are closely allied with us are doing, what they are delivering,” Scholz replied when asked if the deployment of German tanks in Ukraine was realistic given the offensive. Russian. And he wanted to say: no, it won’t come to that. “Those who are in a comparable situation to Germany act like us,” Scholz explained.

However, this does not tally with statements and announcements made by some allies. The US government has just announced that it has already received the war material announced as part of the latest military aid program for Ukraine. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has this tweeted tuesdaythat the country will supply Ukraine with heavy military equipment, including armored vehicles.

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The British, Czechs and Slovaks announced that they would supply heavy weapons. With each new statement from the allies, it becomes clearer that the federal government’s position is increasingly going it alone. “Too little, too late. This remains the bitter assessment after Chancellor Scholz’s press conference”, tweeted Union vice-faction Johann Wadephul after its appearance. “Germany is failing Ukraine.”

However, this exclusivity is excessive, since the federal government provides additional financial resources to Ukraine. “We asked the German arms industry to tell us what material they can deliver in the near future,” Scholz said.

Ukraine has “appropriated a selection from this list and we are providing the money for its purchase”. Military goods on the list included anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft equipment, ammunition and “also what you can use in an artillery battle,” Scholz says.

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But: This list has been available for several weeks. Starting to work on it now means that precious time has passed which could have been used to put Ukraine in a more resilient state. The Russian army offensive in the east of the country has now begun. Heavy fighting is expected. All that the defenders will only get in a few days or weeks is missing in the fights that now risk being decisive.

Other allies, on the other hand, acted more quickly than the federal government. US President Joe Biden announced massive new arms shipments last week. He said the Pentagon would provide $800 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, including Soviet-made artillery, armored vehicles and helicopters.

But Biden doesn’t just announce, he also delivers — literally. At “unprecedented speed,” as Pentagon spokesman John Kirby called it. Thus, less than 48 hours passed between the approval of the President on April 13 and the loading of a first plane on April 15, as Kirby announced on Twitter.

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German hunter at Butscha

With such speed, the United States is helping “to provide the Ukrainians with the equipment they need to defend their country,” according to Kirby. In the meantime, other planes with military equipment are on the way. The Pentagon recently reported eight to ten planes a day that the United States uses to transport weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. Germany denies this information.

According to the first figures made public, the United States is the largest current support of Ukraine with the equivalent of 7.6 billion euros since the outbreak of the war. All EU countries together represent 2.9 billion euros. In addition, €1.4 billion comes from EU institutions and €2 billion from the European Investment Bank. This is the result of data from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) as of March 27.

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March 9, 2017, German visit to Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) in the Kremlin

Conclusion: The United States (330 million inhabitants) provides more military aid than the EU (447 million inhabitants), which shares a border with Ukraine. In terms of economic output, Estonia is Ukraine’s biggest earner, followed by Poland and Lithuania. According to the IfW, the United States ranks sixth and Germany twelfth, although aid provided indirectly through the EU is not included here.

There are two reasons why Germany does not supply heavy weapons directly – one is sobering, the other is controversial. Contrary to the armies of the allies, the Bundeswehr has such small reserves that the troops cannot yield any material. The armed forces of other NATO countries have heard nothing of these bottlenecks – at least nothing from the official side. Scholz, on the other hand, made deliveries from Bundeswehr stocks clear: “Here we must now recognize that the possibilities we have are reaching their limits.”

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The second reason for Germany’s reluctance is that the Chancellor is counting on the allies to hand over weapons from the Warsaw Pact era to Ukraine, which will then be replaced by Germany, among others, with new types of material. According to the Chancellor, these weapons should be “immediately usable”. Which is not so easily the case with the systems of Western manufacturers and armies. Vice Wadephul denies this, however, regarding tanks: “Of course soldiers can quickly operate and use armored vehicles like a Marder or M113,” he tweeted. The United States and Great Britain would train themselves: “Germany is not there either,” Wadephul said.

Meanwhile, the United States plans to boycott several G20 meetings this week to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wants to stay away from several G20 meetings in Washington in the coming days, as reported by The Washington Post. G-20 finance ministers want to meet at the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is traveling from Berlin.

US President Joe Biden called in March for Russia’s exclusion from the G20. Biden calls Russia’s war on Ukraine “genocide” – a verdict Scholz declined to adopt in an interview last week. Biden had previously called Putin a “war criminal” and a “butcher”. Scholz avoids such rhetoric.

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