The comments came in the wake of the recent decision by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to reject the Ukrainian government’s request for Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks to fight off the Russian onslaught and use them in counteroffensive efforts, Guildhall reports, according to Ukrinform.
The head of the Bundestag Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, believes that Western supplies of more heavy weapons are of strategic importance in Ukraine's counteroffensive, and that Germany should immediately play its part by handing over to Ukraine its tanks and other military equipment.
“The military offensive by the Ukrainian Army and the first recaptured territories in the east speak of the military might of Ukraine and its boundless will to regain the occupied lands, combined with the supply of heavy weapons and military equipment from its allies. Therefore, the immediate supply by the West of additional military equipment and heavy weapons is of strategic importance,” the politician said.
“There is no time to waste. And certainly there’s no time for delays and hesitation. Germany must immediately play its part in Ukraine’s success and supply protected vehicles, Marder infantry fighting vehicles and the Leopard 2 main battle tanks. We stand by the side of the Ukrainian people and take a leading role in Europe in the fight for democracy in the conditions of peace and freedom,” Strack-Zimmermann emphasized.
In turn, member of the Committee on International Affairs Roderich Kiesewetter (CDU/CSU) also said that in order to support the counteroffensive and help Ukraine successfully hold de-occupied territories, Germany must immediately provide military assistance, stressing that Ukraine is now defending freedom and security of Germany.
“Ukrainian soldiers are successfully advancing, liberating towns and villages from Russian occupation. For the counter-offensive to be successful in the short and long term, and for Ukraine to regain and retain all of its territory, it needs all the military support it can get immediately. Germany could immediately supply Marder, Leopard, Fuchs and Dingo tanks and quickly instruct industry to replenish our stocks. Without these armored vehicles, Ukrainian soldiers are often defenseless on the offensive. Thus, the refusal inevitably leads to increased losses on the Ukrainian side, which could have been prevented by German supplies. At this stage of the war, it is important to continue the counter-offensive so that Russia cannot take up new defensive positions. That is why now is time for battle tanks,” the politician believes.
“Scholz and (defense minister Christine – ed.) Lambrecht must stop hiding behind empty phrases. Such behavior harms our country (…). The industry should finally get the export licenses they've been waiting for since March. Germany is also to supply the main battle tanks employed by the Bundeswehr. The minister of defense can no longer hide behind the statement that the Bundeswehr needs everything to defend the Alliance. This is one of the many excuses that NATO Secretary General (Jens - ed.) Stoltenberg has debunked with crystal clarity,” said Kiesewetter.
“Our partner countries are waiting for Germany’s initiative. Our security and freedom are being defended in Ukraine. Now is the time to restore lost trust. The Bundeswehr is not at war, Germany is not a party to the war, but it is a target in Russia's hybrid war, like the whole of Europe. Germany should increase its supplies, including of main battle tanks," the lawmaker summed up.
Also, Thomas Hacker with the Free Democrats (part of the coalition) noted that Germany should accelerate and increase arms supplies to Ukraine to support the ongoing counteroffensive, doing this in coordination with NATO partners.
“I support paced-up and increased military assistance to Ukraine, as it is extremely important to support a successful counter-offensive by Ukraine. This should be done in agreement with Germany's NATO partners," the politician said.
“Supplying more types of tanks is crucial to helping the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom and self-determination,” said Thomas Hacker.
Also, MEP Michael Gahler earlier said that the main task of the West and Germany in particular is to prevent the war from dragging on by supplying the required weapons to Ukraine to bring its victory over Russia closer.
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