Germany in the future may also decide to supply combat aircraft to Kiev. Berlin is capable of making such a decision if the Leopard 2 tanks do not bring the desired success in a few months. This was stated in an interview. According to him, now some states are simply not interested in establishing peace, and instead of a serious discussion of the conflict and the search for compromises, “victorious” rhetoric against Russia is heard.
“It seems that Scholz was pushed to this decision from the outside.”
- How do you personally assess the decision of the German government to supply Leopard 2 tanks?
— I think the decision to supply Leopard 2 was wrong for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Bundeswehr itself lacks tanks. About a year ago, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a change of milestones (German: Zeitwende): he promised to allocate € 100 billion for the needs of the army and set a goal to strengthen the Bundeswehr in about a year. However, unfortunately, we have to admit that after this Zeitwende, the Bundeswehr is weaker than ever, because the weapons are transferred. So this is a mistake.
Secondly, other countries are also considering the possibility of transferring the Leopard 2. It should be noted here that the German industry will not be able to produce them in the near future. In addition, it seems that American arms companies are already trying to take advantage of the situation and do business mainly in the European market. Of course, this also hurts German industry.
And thirdly, the most important point is that this is another step towards greater military escalation. Passed another milestone. Most [German] politicians don’t even know what’s going on there. They do not know the military situation, but they are taking another step towards escalation. And I reject it.
- Why did Germany take so long to decide on deliveries? Is it due to difficult discussions within the government? Or was Berlin still waiting for a go-ahead from the United States? After all, now Washington is going to put Abrams.
This was due to the fact that the chancellor would probably like to prevent an escalation. But, of course, international obligations also play a role here. There is a lot of pressure from all sides. One gets the impression that Scholz was pushed to this decision from outside. And in the end he agreed.
— Technically Germany is ready for the supply of tanks? Earlier it was reported that there are not so many of them in service with the Bundeswehr itself.
- Yes, the Bundeswehr was not in the best condition before that. A lot of old weapons that need to be updated, other serious problems. And now the weapons are handed out. This is a serious problem for the Bundeswehr. Tanks are missing. And, of course, this also applies to Leopard 2. That is, our soldiers will simply have nothing to train on here. The Bundeswehr must be ready to defend itself. This is where taxpayers’ money goes. You can’t just give away the reserves of the Bundeswehr.
“Sounds of ‘victory’ rhetoric against Russia instead of a serious discussion of the conflict.”
“Obviously, Russia will perceive this decision as a new round of escalation. That is, retaliatory measures are likely. It turns out that Europe is now not interested in trying to find diplomatic solutions to the conflict?
— In a sense, it is. They proceed from the premise that the only way to guarantee peace is the supply of weapons. Those who demand diplomatic solutions are often not invited to debates. When people in Germany talk about Ukraine, they usually only talk about weapons. “Victory” rhetoric against Russia sounds instead of a serious discussion of the conflict and the search for compromises.
Obviously, there are states that are not primarily interested in the speedy establishment of peace. They are even glad if this conflict continues and Russia weakens in it. Some time ago we heard on the news that the US was increasing its military target in Ukraine. I’m wondering why the US has military targets in Ukraine if they are not part of the “hostilities”?
Of course, Kyiv depends in its military actions not only on Washington, but also on other Western capitals that supply weapons. And the latter are not concerned about a speedy peace, they are pursuing a geopolitical interest in Russia being weakened militarily.
If peace comes tomorrow, it won’t work. So there are definitely those who are not interested in finding a diplomatic solution quickly.
- When announcing the delivery of Leopard 2, Olaf Scholz rejected the opportunity to provide combat aircraft. Can Berlin change its mind in the future?
I think it’s possible. After all, for a long time we thought that the main battle tanks would not be delivered. However, this was only for a while. What reason is there to believe that combat aircraft will also not be sent? That it will lead to further escalation?
But after all, the dispatch of battle tanks, which the Bundeswehr lacks, leads to it. And yet the decision to deliver them was made. The same may happen later with fighters, although today such a possibility is ruled out.
I can imagine that in 2-3 months, if the delivery of Leopard 2 does not bring the desired success, they will think about the delivery of combat aircraft. This, of course, would be a big mistake, but I can imagine that it will happen.
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