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German chancellor defends ‘cautious’ approach to Ukraine crisis

Olaf Scholz, chancellor rejected criticism on Sunday which Germany was not supportive Western attempts to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons, saying he would rather be cautious in his decision-making.

Scholz is under pressure at home and abroad for helping Ukraine keep away from the invasion of Russia by supplying Kyiv with heavy arms such as howitzers and tanks and supporting an immediate European Union embargo on Russian energy imports to strip President Vladimir Putin of hard currency, which assists him, finance the war.

 “I take my decisions fast and in concert with our partners,” Scholz told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview. “I find hasty actions and maverick German efforts questionable.”

Germany made an announcement on 26th April about its 1st delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine after weeks of pressure at home and abroad to do so among confusion over its stance.

The German government which is racing to lessen its heavy reliance on imported Russian energy approved the delivery of Gepard tanks equipped with anti-aircraft guns.

The move was backed by 55% of Germans who are in an opinion poll said Europe’s largest economy must supply Ukraine with these arms.

But, the decision did not assist to reverse public perception of Scholz as being irresolute and lacking leadership. An opinion poll published in Bild am Sonntag revealed 54% were unsatisfied with the handling of the crisis of the Scholz. His approval rating fell to 32%, the poll revealed.

Critics, including ambassador of Ukraine to Germany have blamed Berlin of pulling its heels on providing heavy weapons to Ukraine and on other measures, which could help Kyiv repel Russian forces such as an Embargo on e Russian energy imports.

They have said Berlin is not revealing the leadership anticipated of a leading power and its hesitations among concerns regarding the economic effect in Germany of barring supplies of Russian gas are costing Ukrainian lives. 

The Free Democrats and Greens, junior coalition partners to Social Democrats of Scholz are eager on offering more military help to Ukraine.

Scholz had to balance their demands with those of left-leaning members of his party who say delivering heavy weapons to Ukraine dangers provoking a Russian military response in a third country and sparking a wider conflict. 

A Social Democrat whose party long championed rapprochement with Russia after World War II, advised of the danger of Moscow perceiving Germany as a party to the conflict, which could lead to a “third world war”.

Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation” disarms Ukraine and frees it of anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia introduced an unprovoked war of aggression.


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