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Ukraine aid: Why nobody listens to the Germans

Ukraine aid: Why nobody listens to the Germans

Berlin is urging its partners to provide more air defense for Ukraine. But the appeals are going unheeded. Germany’s word apparently doesn’t count for much.

In mid-April, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced that Germany would supply Ukraine with another Patriot system. It is the third missile defense battery from the Bundeswehr’s inventory. The German government combined this decision with an appeal to other countries to also provide more air defense weapons. The Patriots are particularly useful against Russian attacks with guided missiles. .

What has become of it?

Last week, Baerbock traveled to Ukraine. It was the seventh time since the war began. She received a high medal for her solidarity and visited a power plant destroyed by Russian missiles. She brought no promises about Patriot systems with her.

Pistorius recently traveled to Latvia. When asked about more air defense for Ukraine, he replied that there are many countries, worldwide, but also in Europe, “that can do more” than they have done so far. He has “no idea” why the other nations are still hesitating, grumbled Pistorius.

The situation in Kharkiv is dramatic

I saw Olaf Scholz myself a few days ago when he held a press conference in Stockholm with the heads of government of the five Nordic countries. He heard a lot of praise for Germany’s commitment, but no concrete promises for air defense systems. The longer the press conference went on, the more gloomy the Chancellor’s expression became.

Around six weeks after the German initiative began, Russian missiles are still flying towards Ukraine. Baerbock could not drive into the city. It was too dangerous. Shortly afterwards, many people died in an attack on a hardware store.

The lack of support for Ukraine with additional air defense is not a good sign for German foreign policy. Their word apparently does not count for much in the partner states. Pleading appeals from Berlin also go unheeded, even when the German government goes ahead with its own delivery.

Patriot debacle instead of quick help for Ukraine

Every country that has Patriots gives different reasons for not wanting to deliver. The Greeks are apparently afraid of Turkey (a NATO partner, after all). The Dutch foreign minister has promised to carefully examine the possibility of a delivery (but first the country is looking for a new head of government), Sweden wants to help (but preferably with money). And so on. But the truth is that the German government also took a long time to bring itself to deliver each of the three German Patriot systems for Ukraine over the past two years.

I fear that the current Patriot debacle is already part of a line-up of European governments that has nothing to do with military necessity, but rather with tactical considerations. And that is in the no longer unlikely event that Ukraine loses the war. Someone will have to be to blame. And Germany has a good chance of coming under particular pressure.

The German government will then point out that Germany has supplied the most weapons after the USA. Other governments will reply that things would not have been so bad if Germany had acted sooner. Europe would show its nasty side. But of course the question of who is right would then be a relatively small problem.

Source: Stern

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