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“Will not send ground troops”: Scholz defends votes on arms delivery in the Bundestag

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At the beginning of the government survey, Chancellor Olaf Scholz drew a positive balance. “Most of them probably thought it wouldn’t work,” he explained, referring to the energy crisis caused by the Ukraine war. And: “To put it in the words of a commentator: the federal government has whistled off the economic crisis.”

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Referring to the recently announced arms deliveries, the Chancellor then declared: “Germany will always be at the forefront when it comes to supporting Ukraine.” All decisions are effective because they were made in cooperation with other governments.

This principle of coordination should also be pursued in the future. “Peace and security in Europe” can only be guaranteed in this way.

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Scholz explained that they also want to include other countries that have now declared their desire to make their own deliveries. “It is correct that we do not provide these weapon systems alone,” said the Federal Chancellor.

The agenda item was scheduled for a total of one hour. The discussion about the supply of Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine played a central role in the government questioning.

The foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Jürgen Hardt (CDU), was the first to criticize in the question and answer session that the decision had first become known through media reports and was not communicated directly to the Bundestag. The discussion from the outset as a whole caused “considerable crop damage”.

Scholz confirms aid in the reconstruction of Ukraine

The deputy group leader of the Greens Agnieszka Brugger, on the other hand, praised the announcement of the delivery of the Leopard 2 tanks as “the right decision” and “an urgently needed contribution”.

Brugger emphasized that solidarity with Ukraine should not depend solely on arms deliveries. She therefore asked the Federal Chancellor what additional aid was planned. Olaf Scholz called “humanitarian aid” that has been provided for months, but also support for the reconstruction of Ukraine that would last “years and decades”.

Petr Bystron from the AfD parliamentary group once again criticized the deliveries to Ukraine, noting that “the foundations of German foreign policy had been thrown overboard”. The Federal Chancellor will go down in history as the Chancellor who “trampled the legacy of the Federal Republic”.

Scholz replied that the Russian war of aggression was to be seen as an imperialist war and support for Ukraine was accordingly justified by Germany’s foreign policy after the Second World War.

Scholz draws red lines for fighter jets and ground troops

Robert Farle (Non-attached) addressed the limit of German arms supplies and related concerns about involvement in the war. “Trust the government, trust me too,” declared the Chancellor. All decisions are always made on the basis of their own security, not support for Ukraine.

Scholz ruled out the delivery of combat aircraft or the deployment of ground troops. “I made it clear very early on that it’s not about combat aircraft and I’m doing that here too,” said the SPD politician.

When no-fly zones were discussed shortly after the start of the war, he and US President Joe Biden said: “We will not do that. And nothing has changed in this attitude and nothing will change either.”

Scholz added: “Under no circumstances will we send ground troops. I said there will be no direct involvement of NATO soldiers in the Ukraine war. This has not been the case so far and will not be the case in the future either. And everyone can rely on that,” said Scholz. “That’s what has been said from the beginning, not only by me, but also by the American President. And together that should be a weighty word.”

The Chairwoman of the Defense Committee of the Bundestag, Marie Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), praised the decision as “good news” and congratulated the new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. When asked which countries from the NATO alliance were planned as partners in future deliveries, the Federal Chancellor referred to the respective statements of the countries. But you are “certainly not alone”.

Scholz had announced the delivery of German Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine in the morning. In a “first step”, 14 Leopard tanks from Bundeswehr stocks should be made available to Ukraine, Scholz said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, according to his spokesman. (AFP, Tsp)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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