Germany has failed to show decisive support for Ukraine by delaying a decision to send a state-of-the-art main battle tank to the war-torn country, a senior German politician in coalition partner Free Democrats (FDP) said.
Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chairman of the German parliament’s defense committee, was among those who failed to discuss the supply of German-made Leopard 2s during talks between Western leaders in Ramstein, Germany. Tank made the above comments after reaching a consensus.
Kyiv said the new hardware would allow the Ukrainian military to increase its firepower in response to a possible spring offensive against Russian forces.
“History is looking at us and, unfortunately, Germany just failed,” Strack-Zimmermann told public broadcaster ZDF late on Friday.
“At the very least, it’s right to give our partners the green light,” she added, referring to countries such as Poland wanting to supply Leopard directly to Ukraine – a move that would require Ukraine’s approval. Berlin.
Strack-Zimmermann said Chancellor Olaf Schulz’s comments about the tank deliveries were a “disaster”.
On the one hand, Germany strongly supports Ukraine, but its decision not to deliver the main battle tanks gives a different impression, she added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to mock Germany’s indecision, FDP politicians say.
Other German lawmakers also weighed in
Roderich Kiesewetter, a foreign affairs expert with the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), spoke of how Germany’s foreign policy has been severely damaged by the lack of decisions.
“Germany has done harm to Ukraine and its future status,” he told General Augsburg newspaper.
Kiesewert said Berlin had just ordered an inventory of Bundeswehr tanks that left him speechless, calling it “embarrassing and frightening” to do so a year after the Russian-Ukrainian war broke out.
Robin Wagener, an environmentally friendly Green Party politician and chair of the German-Ukrainian parliamentary group, agreed that the tank stockpile was “late” but “a step in the right direction”.
Rolf Mützenich, leader of the centre-left Social Democrats’ parliamentary group, said it was necessary to act in concert with the United States.
“It is important that we always take important steps together,” Mützenich told stuttgart news newspaper. “Together means above all cooperation with the United States.”
What was the outcome of the Ramstein talks?
A meeting of about 50 Ukrainian allies, led by the United States, failed to reach any decision on the fast-track delivery of German Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.
Despite Kyiv’s repeated calls for new military equipment, the German government is wary of sudden moves that could lead to further escalation of the conflict by Moscow.
According to media reports, senior U.S. officials who participated in the talks advised Kyiv to hold off on launching a large-scale offensive against Russian forces.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he could not say when a decision on the tanks would be made, but that Berlin was ready to “move quickly” if there was a consensus among allies.
“All the pros and cons have to be weighed very carefully,” Pistorius added.
In a video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the group to “speed up” weapons deliveries, stressing that Germany’s Panther tanks were a top need.
“Every day we are making it more clear that there is no choice but to make a decision on tanks,” he said.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the lack of an agreement would not prevent the Ukrainian army from training Leopard-2 main battle tanks in Poland.
The allies did, however, approve billions of dollars worth of military equipment, including enough armored vehicles and ammunition needed to repel Russian forces.
mm/fb (AFP, AP, DPA, Reuters)