Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Internal rifts loom as Germany ponders arms exports to Ukraine –

After the German government initially refused to supply Ukraine with defensive weaponry, German politicians are pushing to reconsider the position. The biggest EU country has also hinted it might now support exports of certain weaponry to Ukraine via NATO, which it has previously blocked.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chairwoman of the Bundestag’s defence committee and member of the governing liberal FDP, said on Wednesday (19 January) the option of arms exports to Kyiv would be on the table again.

“The supply of defensive weapons could be one way of supporting Ukraine,” Strack-Zimmermann said. “However, this [support] must then be defined precisely,” she added.

While other NATO members, such as the UK, US and most recently the Czech Republic, have in recent weeks pledged to assist Kyiv with arms, Germany has refused to follow suit.

According to the German coalition agreement, the government will not export weapons to conflict regions, which includes Ukraine.

Both Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, and the Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock have been unequivocal on the matter.

Baerbock explained during her visit to Ukraine on Monday that the decision is “rooted in our history” and that Germany would prefer to take a diplomatic approach to defuse the crisis triggered by the amassing of Russian troops around Ukraine.


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