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Scholz warns of “outbidding competition” for weapon systems


After the promised tanks, Ukraine is now also demanding fighter jets. Chancellor Scholz rejects that, he fears a “race to the top” in weapons systems. Everything must be done to prevent a war between Russia and NATO.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has confirmed that in his view Germany is not taking part in the Ukraine war, despite extensive arms deliveries. “This is a war between Russia and Ukraine,” Scholz said at a press conference in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires during his visit to Latin America. “That doesn’t change if we provide Ukraine with financial, humanitarian aid or deliver weapons.” Germany will do everything to ensure that there is no escalation that leads to a war between Russia and NATO countries.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock caused a stir on Tuesday with a statement at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. “We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other,” she told MPs. The Foreign Office then made it clear that Baerbock did not mean that Germany or its allies were involved in the war. Supporting Ukraine in exercising its right to self-defense does not make Germany “a party to the conflict”.

Continued direct talks with Putin

Scholz called for prudence in the debate about further arms deliveries. He warns against “entering into a constant outbidding competition when it comes to weapon systems,” he told the “Tagesspiegel” with a view to demands that Ukraine now also be supplied with fighter jets. “When the next debate begins in Germany as soon as a decision has been made, it doesn’t look very serious and shakes the confidence of the citizens in state decisions.”

He will continue to try to influence Russian President Vladimir Putin in direct talks. “It’s up to Putin to withdraw troops from Ukraine and end this terrible, senseless war that has already claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands.” In the phone calls, Putin repeatedly made it clear that he wanted to “take parts of his neighboring country by force,” which was “unacceptable,” Scholz continued.

Melnyk wants a German submarine in the Black Sea

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk has suggested that Germany should provide Ukraine with a submarine. Melnyk wrote on Twitter: “Germany (Thyssenkrupp) makes one of the best submarines in the world, the HDW class 212A. The Bundeswehr has six such submarines. Why not send one to Ukraine?” That could drive the Russian fleet out of the Black Sea, says Melnyk.