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Olaf Scholz vows to continue sending heavy weapons to Ukraine

Chancellor Olaf Scholz mentioned Germany will proceed sending heavy weapons to Ukraine, including that it was the nation’s historic accountability to assist the federal government in Kyiv defend itself in opposition to Russian aggression.

Scholz made the feedback throughout a speech on Sunday to mark the 77th anniversary of the Allied victory within the second world battle.

“We have learned a central lesson from the disastrous history of our country between 1933 and 1945,” Scholz mentioned within the televised handle. “No more war. No more genocide. No more tyranny.”

“In the present situation that can mean only one thing: we defend justice and freedom — at the side of the victim. We support Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor.” Not doing so, he added, can be like “capitulating to brute force”.

Scholz’s speech mirrored the shift in his considering on arming Ukraine. He had initially dominated out offering Kyiv with heavy weapons reminiscent of tanks and armoured autos, saying it may make Germany a celebration to the battle and set off a nuclear battle with Russia.

But in latest days Scholz has modified his tune. On Friday, the federal government introduced it could present Ukraine with seven self-propelled howitzers, a kind of artillery piece generally known as the PzH 2000. That adopted a choice to present Kyiv about 50 Gepard (“Cheetah”) anti-aircraft weapons.

Officials have made clear that these won’t be the final such deliveries. “For the first time in our postwar history we have sent weapons — including heavy weapons — into a war zone, on a large scale and always carefully weighing it up,” Scholz mentioned. “And we will continue to do so.”

The determination to step up navy assist to Kyiv has confirmed controversial. The famend feminist Alice Schwarzer was one in every of a variety of intellectuals who signed an open letter to the federal government late final month expressing fears that German deliveries of heavy weapons may result in a 3rd world battle.

Scholz acknowledged that many Germans had “concerns that the war will spread and that our peace could be jeopardised”. People ought to be allowed to specific such fears, he mentioned.

“But at the same time it is important to say that fear mustn’t paralyse us,” he added.

Scholz insisted, nonetheless, that Germany would “take no decisions that would turn Nato into a party to this war”. Berlin would additionally not do something that “harmed us and our partners more than Russia”.

Scholz’s opinion ballot rankings have slumped in latest days amid mounting scrutiny of his insurance policies in Ukraine, with critics accusing him of hesitancy and indecision over arming Kyiv.

Early projections of outcomes from a regional election on Sunday within the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein indicated that his Social Democrats dropped virtually 12 factors to 3rd place behind the Christian Democrats and the Greens, within the social gathering’s worst-ever outcome there.

The German chancellor mentioned this yr’s commemoration of the top of the second world battle “was like no other”. Seventy-seven years after the capitulation of Nazi Germany, “brute force” was as soon as once more laying waste to a European nation, with Russia’s military “murdering men, women and children, completely destroying cities and even attacking refugees”.

Scholz mentioned the truth that Putin was making an attempt to justify Russia’s assault on Ukraine as a battle in opposition to Nazism was “disgraceful” and a “falsification of history”.

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