Calls for the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine Divide the German government
Mr. Scholz said that Germany, which for decades had not been armed, could not afford to supply Ukraine with more weapons and still meet its defense obligations and NATO.
“We have to realize the possibilities we have are reaching their limits,” he said.
However, his stance on sending tanks and other heavy weapons to Ukraine remains ambiguous and he would not then make it clear to journalists whether Berlin will allow German defense contractors to sell weapons for Ukraine or not.
Asked by a reporter whether he would meet Ukraine’s request for a Leopard tank, Scholz replied: “Sometimes it helps to look at the world. In this case, it leads to the perception that people in the same position as Germany are acting like us”.
It was an ill-timed rebuttal, as a few hours earlier the Netherlands had announced that it would supply heavy weapons, including armored vehicles, to Ukraine.
Schmid said: “Scholz doesn’t care about public perception. “He is focused on the action. And he doesn’t like to do things based on public debate.”
In response to the debate, Mr. Scholz was taciturn, even somewhat sarcastic. His frustration was especially evident after a delegation of members of the House of Representatives visited Ukraine last week – a move his prime minister is said to have discouraged.
The delegation including Ms Strack-Zimmermann from the FDP, Mr Hofreiter from the Greens, and Michael Roth from the SPD all supported the heavy weapons requirements and called on the prime minister to demonstrate stronger leadership.
Responding a few days later, in a televised interview, he said: “To boys and girls, I have to say: The fact that I don’t just do what you want, it shows that I’m leading.”