Now that half of the German cabinet members have already traveled to Ukraine, the chancellor must be ready, too. Although the Chancellery does not confirm the report of the Bild newspaper, which is always well informed about Ukraine, there are no denials either. Ahead of the G7 summit, which begins on June 26 in Bavaria, he is said to be traveling to Kyiv with French President Macron and Italian Prime Minister Draghi – possibly until Thursday.
There is, of course, a lot of speculation about where this change came from. It seems possible that Schulze waited – the keyword shoot – not to come empty-handed. So far, people in Kyiv have been disappointed by the many words from Berlin that action has yet to follow.
It’s been seven weeks since Schulze promised heavy weapons – such as tanks, missile launchers and air defense systems – but nothing has been delivered. Responsible minister Christine Lambrecht, Schultz’s party colleague, is also said to have shown herself only “ambiguous and evasive” when asked questions from Kyiv, Die Welt reports. They also blocked urgent ordering for a delivery schedule. This is likely due to huge logistical problems: According to Business Insider, the air defense systems and missile launchers should only be available in a few months.
Only the tanks are moving. The fact that weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall has now announced that it has repaired the first 100 promised Marder BMP gives Scholz some breathing space: that way he can meet his access requirements only with “very specific things.” In addition, the decision on the status of the candidate for Ukraine is scheduled for the next two weeks. Therefore, more recently Schulz was in the Western Balkans, that is, in those countries that waited much longer to join the European Union than Ukraine. His mission: to remove fears of “putting Ukraine first.”
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