No western main battle tanks, but howitzers for Ukraine
Chancellor and defense minister want to continue to support Ukraine - but not with Western-style battle tanks. Lambrecht meanwhile calls for the clarification of possible war crimes.
Despite increasingly loud demands from their own coalition, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister want Christina Lambrecht continue to leave no western-style battle tanks to Ukraine. "We will not go it alone in everything we do," said Scholz on Deutschlandfunk. The SPD politician emphasized the support already provided. It was precisely the weapons that Germany had made available that "made the difference and also made the current successes that Ukraine has achieved possible," said Scholz. That's why it "makes sense that we continue there".
Lambrecht also reiterated German support for the Ukraine. "We make everything possible that we can: We deliver weapons from the stocks of the Bundeswehr, from industry and via the ring exchange," said the SPD politician to the newspapers of the Funke media group. After hundreds of bodies were found in the Ukrainian city of Izyum, she called for investigations into possible war crimes - "preferably from the United Nations." The UN should be given access as soon as possible so that evidence could be secured. "Those responsible for war crimes must be brought to justice."
Zelenskyj throws Russia torture before
In Izyum more than 440 graves with corpses were found. According to initial findings, people are said to have died when Russia fired heavily on the city at the end of March. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of torture. According to him, people were tortured with wires and electric shocks.
To the demands of Ukraine, too main battle tank Western design like the Leopard 2, Lambrecht said: "We don't want a German going it alone and we will always make such decisions in consultation with our partners." So far, no other country has delivered western-style armored personnel carriers or main battle tanks. It is important that the Ukrainian troops can "fight quickly and without long training" with the delivered equipment. "That's why we're exchanging rings with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and now also with Greece."
Meanwhile, it became known on Saturday that the federal government of Ukraine approved the purchase of German-made howitzers. A government spokesman said: "We can confirm that a license has been granted to export 18 RCH-155 howitzers." The "Welt am Sonntag" had previously reported on it, citing documents available to it. Accordingly, it is about a planned order from Kiev with the armaments group Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) worth 216 million euros. However, the howitzers could be delivered in two and a half years at the earliest.
Asked whether she or the chancellor feared that Russia, under its President Vladimir Putin, might attack Germany, Lambrecht said fear was not good advice. "Neither Olaf Scholz nor I are afraid. It's about prudence."
Lambrecht defended the Inspector General of the German Armed Forces, Eberhard Zorn, against criticism of his analysis of the situation in Ukraine. Ukraine's achievements are very impressive and encouraging, she said. "But the Russian troops are far from being beaten back." She shares this assessment of the Inspector General.
Lambrecht: "Agree that Putin is unpredictable"
A few days ago, Zorn had doubted that the Ukrainians really had the strength for a counteroffensive. "They need a superiority of at least 3 to 1," he said. He had also expressed fears that Russia could open a second front. "Kaliningrad, the Baltic Sea, the Finnish border, Georgia, Moldova... there are many possibilities. Putin would have the skills," Zorn said. When asked if she agreed, Lambrecht said: "I agree that Putin is unpredictable."
Putin attacked his neighbors and questioned the territorial integrity of other states. In addition, one had to experience that "terrible violations of human rights were committed". "Against this background, I do not rule out that Putin will take other steps." There are currently no concrete signs of this, "but he has already gone down a path that we could not have imagined either."