Coalition partners criticize German Chancellor’s indecisiveness about Leopard tank deliveries

Olaf Scholz’s supervisor was informed that Germany failed a historic test by refusing to send battle tanks from Ukraine at a weapons-pledging conference.

Berlin’s refusal to grant permission for the export of state-of-the-art Leopard tanks was criticized at home as well as abroad.

The chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Defence Committee stated that history is looking at Germany and that Germany has failed.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann is a member of the pro-business FDP which is part of Olaf Scholz’s coalition government. She said that Vladimir Putin would laugh at German indecision.

She stated, “At the minimum, it would have been right to give our partners green light.”

Around 15 European countries are interested in delivering their German-made Leopard tanks, but Berlin is unable to allow them to do so.

The German Chancellor refused to issue export licenses to the US unless they sent M1-Abrams tanks to combat the US, which Washington refused to do as they are too expensive and complicated to maintain than the Leopards.

He has warned about the danger of inciting a wider war against Russia. However, Scholz appeared to rescind his request before Ramstein. This raised hopes that the standoff could be resolved at the US Air Base Summit.

Ms Strack-Zimmerman, the one who predicted that the Leopards would be sent eventually, called Mr Scholz’s communication about the matter “disaster.”

Even though Germany sent significant military support to Ukraine, Berlin seemed to be withholding the aid due to indecision around Leopards.

Boris Pistorius (Germany’s new defense minister) stated that Berlin would conduct an inventory of its Leopard tank fleet after Ramstein, but he didn’t know when or what the decision would be.

Roderich Kiesewetter (the foreign affairs spokesperson of the Christian Democratic Party) said that it was “embarrassing” and “frightening” that a tank inventory had been ordered only a year after the illegal invasion.

He said that Germany had done a disservice to Ukraine and its future.

Johann Wadephul (CDU member of Bundestag) said that “We are witnessing Germany’s total failure on the international stage.”

He said, “Either because of stubbornness or cowardice [Scholz] leaves Ukraine hanging,”

The Bild newspaper, which is the best-selling one, was critical of the inability to send tanks. Germany made a fool out of itself at this table. The headline of the influential tabloid reads over a photograph of the discussions.

It ridiculed the decision to inspect the German army stock levels, “as though we didn’t know what’s in the garage”.

Die Welt called Mr Pistorius “leader of the naked Squad” because it reported that four of Germany’s six battalions had less than ten battle tanks ready for action. They should have 264 Leopard 2s.

Bild – Hans-Lothar Domrose, ex-General of NATO, said that Ukraine was wasting time.

He warned that it would take at least two months for tanks to be ready to use at the front after an export decision has been made. He stated, “The Russians are bombing and we’re discussing.”

Oleksii Reznikov is the defence minister of Ukraine. He said that Kyiv’s troops will begin training in Poland on Leopard tanks. He said, “We’ll begin with that and then we move on.”

Friday’s statement by Mr Pistorius that Germany wouldn’t stand in the way of “preparatory Training” on Leopards was a clear indication that Berlin might still be willing to send tanks.

Volodymr Zelensky stated in his nightly speech that “Every day we make it more clear that there is no other than a decision about tanks” after the Ramstein summit was over without any breakthrough.

Mykhailo Polyak, a senior advisor for Ukraine’s president, stated that he would help Ukraine get the weapons it needs and realize that Russia is the only option.

“But today’s indecision kills more of our people. Ukrainians are dying every day because of indecision. Think faster

Germany was under constant pressure from its allies, including the US and Britain.

In a bid for Mr Scholz to be forced to hand over his arm, the UK offered 14 Challenger tanks to Kyiv. Warsaw threatened to send 14 Leopards to Germany without Germany’s consent.

When asked by Joe Biden if he supports Poland’s plan to supply Ukraine with Leopard’s main battle tank, he replied that Ukraine would get all the support it needed.

Saturday morning saw the joint declaration of the foreign ministers from Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia calling on Berlin to provide “Leopard tanks” to Ukraine.

“This is necessary to stop Russian aggression, assist Ukraine, and quickly restore peace in Europe. They said that Germany, as European’s leading power, has a special responsibility in this regard.

Russia was not the only country that felt afflicted by the failed end of the standoff.

Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president, stated that Ukraine and Western Europe were “direct heirs” to Napoleon and Hitler.

“The war with them, therefore, is a new Patriotic War. Victory will be ours. He said, “As it was in 1812 or 1945.”

Sergei Ordzhonikidze (a former UN director general and senior Russian diplomat) stated that the UN had stopped it from approving the deployment of Leopard tanks because of German war guilt over the Nazis’ crimes.

Andrey Frolov, a military analyst, claimed that the decision to not send Leopard tanks to Ukraine indicated that European stocks were much lower than previously thought.

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