Discussion about Leopard main battle tanks: Baerbock signals release for delivery

Discussion about Leopard main battle tanks: Baerbock signals release for delivery

Scholz is under pressure because of his battle tank blockade. According to the Foreign Minister, however, Germany would not oppose exports from third countries.

Annalena Baerbock, Foreign Minister, speaks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Foreign Minister Baerbock in conversation with Chancellor Scholz Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/dpa

BERLIN dpa | According to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Germany would not oppose the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks from other countries to Ukraine. “We have not been asked so far and (…) if we were asked, we would not stand in the way of that,” said the Green politician on Sunday evening to the French broadcaster LCI. Baerbock answered the question what would happen if Poland Supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine would.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had previously announced that he would, if necessary, deliver leopards to Ukraine without Germany’s consent. He told the PAP news agency: “We will not stand by and watch Ukraine bleed dry. Ukraine and Europe will win this war – with or without Germany.” If there is no agreement with Germany soon, Poland will form a “smaller coalition” with other countries. These countries would then begin supplying some of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine without German approval.

The federal government has not yet made a decision on the Delivery of German battle tanks met in Ukraine. Nor has it issued any delivery permits to other countries for the tanks produced in Germany. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday evening on the ARD program “Anne Will” that the careful coordination process with the partners is ongoing. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil pointed out the support already provided for Ukraine.

Noise in traffic lights – SPD representatives urge prudence

Other leading SPD representatives also backed the chancellor. Statements by coalition members in recent weeks about the chancellor have weakened the policies of the federal government, said SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich on Sunday evening in the ZDF “heute journal”. “I held back for a long time, but I thought this criticism was excessive at the weekend, especially from a colleague who is after all the chair of the defense committee.”

FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann publicly attacked Scholz sharply. She described the Chancellor’s communication on the tank issue as a “disaster”. Mützenich then warned against a policy of gasping. He said on ZDF: “The Chancellor bears the responsibility and not those who tweet day in and day out and give any advice. I believe that the Federal Chancellor also performs his duties very clearly, but also in a very balanced manner.” However, Scholz and the SPD also received pressure from the other coalition partner, the Greens.

The deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Dirk Wiese also protected Scholz. the Rheinische Post he said: “Within the traffic light coalition, we are working together constructively and in a coordinated manner in this challenging situation under the leadership of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. However, one should not overestimate individual deviations either.” Wiese added: “Rather, one should now keep one’s nerves and not make decisions on the basis of gut feeling.”

The first parliamentary secretary of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei, sees the coalition breaking up. “The scenes that are currently taking place in the traffic light coalition are reminiscent of divorce proceedings,” said Frei der picture. The CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen told the newspaper: “FDP and Greens must ask themselves whether they are prepared to take responsibility for this failure against their own convictions.” The alliance blockade by Scholz and the SPD means “that Germany in a historic test of the war in Europe failed at a crucial point”.

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