Taciturn Scholz under fire for hesitant Ukraine stance

April 20, 2022 / 9:21 PM
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz addresses a press conference following a video conference with heads of States on Ukraine at the Chancellery in Berlin
Sharjah 24 – AFP: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was under growing pressure on Wednesday over his perceived lack of leadership over the war in Ukraine and his dogged refusal to send heavy weapons to the country.
Almost two months after he responded to Russia's invasion of Ukraine by promising a "turning point" in German defence policy, critics say the chancellor has failed to take enough concrete action.

Scholz has sent defensive weapons to Ukraine and announced extra military aid in recent weeks but has so far not agreed to directly send heavy weapons -- leaving Germany increasingly out of step with European and NATO allies.

"We believe that the Bundeswehr (Germany army) would be capable of supplying us with the weapons we need right now," Ukraine's ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, told the ZDF broadcaster on Wednesday. "We do not know why this is not happening."

Army general Markus Laubenthal said the Bundeswehr was simply not in a position to send the weapons Ukraine wants, as this would "considerably weaken (Germany's own) defence capability".

The chancellor also said in a speech on Tuesday evening that Germany does not want to "go it alone" and send heavy weapons without the backing of its allies.

But with the US, Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and others all stepping up their deliveries in recent days, Die Welt newspaper said "the German government's position is increasingly a case of going it alone" in the other direction.

April 20, 2022 / 9:21 PM

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