Senior German lawmaker criticizes Scholz for denying tanks to Ukraine
The head of the German parliament's defense committee slams Chancellor Olaf Scholz for not sending tanks to Ukraine, while reports say the country currently does not have enough ammunition to withstand an attack for more than two weeks.
The head of the German parliament's defense committee has criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz for rejecting to send tanks to Ukraine, in a way to avoid being drawn into a war with Russia.
"The chancellor's refusal to hand over tanks to Ukraine as it struggles for survival is not only incomprehensible but alarmingly short-sighted," Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann said in an interview with German media company RND.
Strack-Zimmermann, a loyal supporter of Ukraine in Germany, said she was tired of Scholz's arguments that Russia would consider it a provocation to send German tanks to Ukraine.
Asked if Kiev stood a chance of receiving battle tanks and armored personnel carriers from Berlin next year, Strack-Zimmermann said she and her colleagues in parliament would not stop pushing for deliveries until they happen.
Poll shows half of Germans against sending tanks to Ukraine
A YouGov poll, conducted by the German news agency DPA revealed on Sunday that 45% of Germans are against sending German-made Leopard 2 tanks.
45% of the survey participants said they opposed supplying tanks to Ukraine, while 33% said they were not against it, and the remaining 22% did not form their own opinion on this issue.
Regarding party preferences, results showed that Green Party voters expressed 50% support and 25% against.
It comes against a backdrop of pressure German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been facing concerning demands to send tanks and more arms to Ukraine. Scholz has repeatedly said that Germany will act with its allies rather than perform a personal decision.
It is worth noting that the largest EU economy anticipates to contract in 2023 as gas and electricity prices continue to skyrocket. According to the IFO Institute for Economic Research, the Munich-based think tank, the ongoing energy crisis because of the war in Ukraine is “wreaking havoc” on the German economy, and they project it could lead to a 0.3% drop in GDP next year.
Germany’s ammunition to last for two weeks in case of a Russian attack
A report by The Wall Street Journal revealed that the military prowess of Ukraine also depends on European nations like Germany, which let their defense sector deteriorate during peacetime and are now fighting to catch up as they focus attention on securing energy supplies.
Germany currently does not have enough ammunition to withstand a Russian attack for more than two weeks, falling far short of NATO standards that members maintain adequate ammunition to last for at least 30 days of the war, as per German officials.
Wolfgang Schmidt, Scholz's chief of staff, said as quoted by WSJ that “this is because, despite being one of the top five arms exporters globally, Germany doesn’t have a large-scale armaments industry.”