The German Chancellor’s plea comes amid warnings that his country’s own military has been stripped to the bone
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has appealed to other EU member states to step up their military assistance to Ukraine, noting that his own country ranks second only to the US in terms of weapons shipments to Kiev. The head of government urged his fellow European leaders to present a coherent plan by next month with respect to what exactly each nation could supply Kiev with.
Between February 2022, when the conflict between Ukraine and Russia began, and October 31, 2023, the EU provided a total of nearly $146 billion in military, economic and humanitarian assistance, according to the Kiel Institute for World Economy (IfW), with Germany contributing almost $23 billion.
Speaking during a press conference following a meeting with Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden in Berlin on Monday, Scholz said, among other things, that Germany will continue its “support for Ukraine undiminished,” with this effort to go on “for as long as is necessary.”
The German chancellor called on EU nations to demonstrate that they stand firm by “European values.” According to Scholz, Berlin has earmarked more than seven billion euros ($7.67 billion) in military aid for Kiev for this year, including a range of air defense systems. He added, however, that no matter how important the German contribution is, “it alone won’t be enough to ensure Ukraine’s security in the long run.”
“I therefore call on the allies in the European Union to strengthen their efforts for the benefit of Ukraine,” the chancellor said. He went on to lament that the weapons deliveries planned by most other EU member states so far were too meager.
Scholz’s remarks echoed those made on Saturday by German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who was addressing his Free Democratic Party’s (FDP) annual convention. The minister insisted that the ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow is a “threat that is faced by Europe as a whole,” claiming that Moscow is absolutely set on destroying the Western way of life.
Meanwhile, back in November, German MP Dr Johann Wadephul warned that the country’s own military might end up without sufficient resources should Berlin continue to arm Kiev. The lawmaker alleged that with some key systems being shipped to Ukraine, certain units of the Bundeswehr would likely only last a few days in battle.
In December, Monika Schnitzer, who chairs the German Council of Economic Experts (GCEE), suggested that the country’s government should introduce a new “solidarity” tax to fund aid for Ukraine, arguing that “special events require special measures.”