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Pressure mounts on Germany’s Scholz to send tanks to Ukraine
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: September 27, 2022 02:32PM
Pressure mounts on Germany’s Scholz to send tanks to Ukraine. Even his own coalition partners are telling him it’s time to send more heavy weapons to fight Putin.

The warning shots are getting closer and louder.

In a heated parliamentary session on Thursday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz received stark signals from his coalition partners that they expect him to ramp up weapons supplies to Ukraine at what is becoming an increasingly critical inflection point of the war.

While his government coalition bought him a little more time in the Bundestag debate and temporarily fended off a critical parliamentary motion expressing a lack of faith in his military support for Ukraine, it is now looking more and more likely Scholz will have to respond to the calls for Europe’s biggest economy to pull its weight when it comes to arming Kyiv more decisively.

Witheringly, opposition lawmaker Florian Hahn from the center-right Christian Social Union fumed that Germany was only “number 18 in the world” when comparing its military aid for Ukraine relative to the economic output. Hahn noted that Estonia was far ahead of Germany in supplying arms instead of keeping them for national defense, “even though they have a direct border with the Russian Federation.”

The center-right Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) opposition block had requested a vote on a Bundestag motion that urges the government to “immediately” allow the export of German battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. That would have been tantamount to a vote of no-confidence in Scholz’s Ukraine strategy, since the chancellor has repeatedly ruled out such deliveries as long as other Western allies don’t deliver similar heavy gear.

The opposition’s maneuver was particularly dangerous for Scholz and his Social Democratic Party (SPD) because leading politicians from his coalition partners, the Greens and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), have also demanded the delivery of German Leopard battle tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles.

Timing is now of the essence. Ukraine is appealing for more weapons as it launches bold counter-offensives against the Russian invaders in the east and south of the country, while Russian President Vladimir Putin is vowing to throw hundreds of thousands of new soldiers into the conflict and is holding fake referendums in occupied territories to incorporate them into Russia.
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