Scholz on arms for Kyiv: Ukraine’s friends shouldn’t compete with each other

Scholz on arms for Kyiv: Ukraine’s friends shouldn’t compete with each other

Ukraine's partners should not compete in the issue of providing the nation with weapons as this is counterproductive.

Such an opinion was expressed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who spoke in an interview with Tagesspiegel, Ukrinform reports.

“I can only warn against the start of constant competition when it comes to weapon systems. When yet another debate immediately begins in Germany after a decision is made, it doesn’t look very serious and shakes citizens' trust in the government's decisions," the head of government said.

Currently, it is important for Scholz that all states that have announced their intention to send Ukraine their tanks actually proceed to do so.

Read also: Spain to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine this spring

Regarding the possibility of transferring aircraft in the future, Scholz resolutely rejected the assumption: "The question of combat aircraft doesn’t even arise," he emphasized. At the same time, the chancellor drew attention to the fact that the war situation is extremely dynamic, which can be seen from the way arms supplies have changed, evolving from MANPADs to anti-aircraft missiles, heavy artillery, and main battle tanks.

The politician, who he says has found “difficult” every decision he has made since Russia unleashed its horrific war of aggression, noted that his government has carefully considered all of these moves, always adhering to the principle of not acting alone, but together with their allies and partners.

The head of the government dismissed accusations of indecision, saying that he was acting cautiously and weighing all possible consequences, as well as public moods. Scholz noted that the vast majority of German citizens side with Ukraine, being convinced that the nation has every right to defend against Russian aggression. Also, the vast majority of Germans praise the government for carefully weighing all decisions.

Scholz sees his main task as preventing his country and NATO in general from being directly dragged into the war.

"The Chancellor of Germany, who takes his oath seriously, must do everything to prevent Russia's war against Ukraine from turning into a war between Russia and NATO. That is why we don’t follow those who almost frivolously recommend Germany to go ahead. We always act in close international coordination. Anything else would increase the risk of escalation and would be irresponsible... No NATO ally is directly involved in this war. And they won't be," the chancellor stressed. In this context, he recalled the joint decision of the allies not to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Scholz also assured that the allies would never deploy their troops in Ukraine.

The head of the German government once again stated that anyone who wants to support Ukraine in protecting its integrity and sovereignty should not tell Ukraine what its goals in the war should be and how the war should end. But what is clear is that Putin must pull his troops out of Ukraine and end the “terrible senseless war” that has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

Scholz added that he would retain contact with Putin.

"And I will call Putin again because we need to talk to each other," said the Chancellor. At the same time, it is important for him that the conversations constantly return to the topic of how the world can get out of the current situation. The prerequisite for this is clear: the withdrawal of Russian troops, Scholz emphasized.

As reported earlier this week, the chancellor finally decided, after weeks of reluctance, to provide Ukraine with German-made main battle tanks and to allow countries that have them in stock to also send them to Kyiv.

Currently, Ukraine is asking its partners to also provide warplanes and missiles, while former Ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk put forward the idea of Germany handing over a submarine.

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