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In a recent interview for the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Ukrainia’s Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky has reaffirmed his country’s intention to purchase military equipment from Germany.
The US and European NATO members were thus far reluctant to sell on credit state-of-the-art equipment to poverty-stricken Ukraine claiming to be fearful of this leading to further escalation in the region, and of retaliatory measures from Russia.
In 2019, an agreement was signed for Ukraine’s purchase of US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles. The Biden regime’s administration has pledged more missiles for 2021, namely patrol boats and counter-artillery radars, again on high-interest credit. However, the amount of defence equipment that trickles through to Ukraine from the West is little more than a political statement of intent from NATO members, and can hardly make a laughable dent in the amount of equipment needed to defend against a possible threat from Russian-backed separatists.
According to former professional comedian Zelensky, his country is facing a new threat from Belarus as well since it the neighbouring state is largely dependent on Russian support and could engage in provocations at Moscow’s behest.
During a visit to Ukraine, the leader of the German Green Party, Germany is prepared to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian soldier and unfortunate civilian.
It doesn’t seem to occur to Leftist-Liberal parties that wars have a habit of spilling over to neighbouring nations. Nor does it enter their heads that the sending of arms to a nation engaged in a war against Russia becomes a legitimate target.
Robert Habeck had signalled to Zelensky that his party would be willing to support the export of state-of-the-art German defence equipment to Ukraine. Although Habeck himself did not specify what kind of military gear he would be willing to sell to Ukraine, sources listed assault rifles, missile patrol boats and counter-artillery radar as the ones being on their shopping list.
In Germany, Habeck’s proposal had received a frosty reception and was subject to strong criticism from his political rivals. Johann Wadephul from the Christian Democrats stated that, ‘It is irresponsible to put arms deliveries in the shop window. From the Ukrainians, the demand for these specific weapon systems is understandable. But the conflict in Donbas cannot be resolved militarily. That’s why arms deliveries are the wrong way to go in this case.’
Foreign Secretary Heiko Maas has also criticised the initiative along the above lines, but Habeck’s actions might reinforce those opinions that believe that the Greens are still too inexperienced to govern despite their strong showing in the polls.
Habeck himself has defended his position, saying that he had only meant to help Ukraine acquiring defensive military equipment, but German defence export laws do not distinguish between defensive or offensive weapons.
He had further explaining to do since the Green Party’s manifesto is drafted along pacifist lines and is officially opposed to any arms exports. But according to Habeck, although it is always a bad thing when people die, one has to give Ukraine a chance at least to die for Germany.
Adding to the confusion, Green defence politician Tobias Lindner had rushed to Habeck’s defence by listing types of ‘defensive’ military equipment, which if supplied to Ukraine, would not contradict their pacifist manifesto. The ones listed were anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles as well as reconnaissance equipment. However, Lindner did not explain as why any of these weapons could not be used for offensive operations.
The initiative does not come as a surprise to those who have followed Green’s policy on Russia. The party’s joint leader, their candidate for German Chancellor at the upcoming elections, Annalena Baerbock has long advocated a policy of increased pressure on Russia.
She is also in favour of suspending the Nord Stream 2 project, a German-Russian gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would hugely increase Europe’s energy markets’ dependence on Russian supplies. Although the Nord Stream project is rapidly nearing completion and German arms supplies to Ukraine are highly unlikely to materialise, the leftist Greens Party’s antagonistic stance against Russia may play well with young and left-wing voters and can translate into valuable percentage points during the autumn elections.
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