Germany won't send fighter jets to Ukraine: Scholz
While Ukraine steps up calls for more weapons, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Germany will not send fighter jets to Kiev.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated Sunday that Germany will not send fighter jets to Kiev, as Ukraine increases calls for more advanced weapons from the West to strengthen its position on the battlefield.
On Wednesday, Scholz only just agreed to provide Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and to allow other European countries to send theirs, after weeks of escalating pressure from allies.
"I can only advise against entering into a constant bidding war when it comes to weapons systems," Scholz said in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
"If, as soon as a decision (on tanks) has been made, the next debate starts in Germany, that doesn't come across as serious and undermines citizens' confidence in government decisions."
Scholz's decision to send the tanks was accompanied by a US announcement of sending a “significant number” of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
The move, seen as a breakthrough in efforts to support Ukraine, was thanked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but he immediately stressed that Kiev needed more heavy weapons from NATO allies, including fighter jets and long-range missiles.
Scholz had warned against raising "the risk of escalation", with Moscow saying the delivery will become another "blatant provocation" against Russia and warned that the Russian military would destroy the equipment.
"There is no war between NATO and Russia. We will not allow such an escalation," he said, adding that it was "necessary" to continue talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The last phone conversation between the leaders was early last month.
"I will talk to Putin by phone again," Scholz said.
"But of course it's also clear that as long as Russia continues to wage war with unabated aggression, the current situation will not change."