The EU and NATO meeting in Ramstein was to bring a turning point in the Leopard tank case. But Germany is still undecided.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video Friday evening that the Ramstein talks showed a lot of understanding of his country’s needs. “Yes, we will still have to fight to provide modern tanks, but it is clear that there is no alternative to the decision for tanks every day.”
Politicians from Ukraine, the German government coalition and the opposition are disappointed. when President Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky and his defense minister, Oleksiy Resnikov, have thanked the Germans for their help and, while confident of delivering the desired tanks, there have been voices of criticism from other quarters.
Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister and former ambassador to Berlin Andriy Melnyk did not hide his disappointment with the new defense minister’s statements. German Boris Pistorius. – Ukrainians are frustrated that the coalition government in Ramstein did not make a decision on the main issue of leopards. It’s a real tragedy,” Melnik told the NTV news channel.
Since the beginning of March, the Bundeswehr and the German Ministry of Defense have known how many tanks they can deliver to Ukraine. – Therefore, I call upon the Minister of Defense to speed up the completion of this test in the coming days, to finally implement the supply of tanks and not to offend other partners who want to help. “We need a powerful tank alliance,” Melnik said. He added: “The competition is not about who provides what, but about saving human lives in Ukraine.”
Conclusion German Ukrainian Nobel laureate Oleksandr Matwijchuk couldn’t understand. “If you say that Ukraine is fighting for the future of Europe, why are you still not supplying Ukraine with tanks and other modern weapons,” Madvijchuk questioned on Twitter.
“Embarrassing and horrifying” inventory
The opposition CDU/CSU fears serious damage to foreign policy. “Germany has made Ukraine and its future position a disgrace,” CDU foreign policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter told the Augsburger Allgemeine. In his view, the outcome of the meeting at Ramstein was to further isolate Germany. He was horrified that only the new head of the Ministry of Defense ordered to check the availability of Cheetah 1 and Cheetah 2 tanks and the capabilities of the armament department. “It’s embarrassing and horrifying that the Germans came up with this idea after almost a year of war,” Kieswetter said.
CDU security expert Katja Leikert also did not understand Defense Minister Boris Pistorius’ announcement. “In principle, it’s not bad if Pistorius wants to check how many leopards can be delivered to Ukraine. But very honestly: how can this not be checked almost a year after the start of the war?! Unbelievable,” the Christian Democratic politician wrote on Twitter.
“History shows us that unfortunately Germany has failed,” complained Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, head of the Bundestag’s defense committee. As he said, communication with Chancellor Olaf Scholes (SPD) on this matter was a “disaster”, because on the one hand Germany supported Ukraine in total, but the lack of a decision on tanks made a different impression.
The head of the German-Ukrainian parliamentary group, Robin Wagener of the Green Party, was less critical of the move announced by Pistorius. “It’s a belated but right move that the new defense minister is finally taking stock of what we can continue to deliver,” he said. “On this basis I assume that Germany will soon signal the delivery of combined battle tanks.”
German Greens Heavily criticized in the European Parliament. “By rejecting European initiatives to supply Leopard tanks, Chancellor Scholz is alienating our European partners,” the German group’s spokesman, Rasmus Andreasen, told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland media group.
In turn, Rolf Muetzenich, head of the SPD parliamentary group, stressed the importance of working in unison with the US. “It is essential that we always take important steps together,” Muetzenich told the Stuttgarter Zeitung. – Together means: And above all from America. The social democrat added that the supply of battle tanks was one such measure.
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