America’s allies are stepping up to counter Russia’s Ukraine threats – with one notable exception

With Ukraine under growing threat from Russiathe The United States and its NATO allies throughout Europe is prompt their response.

But there is one notable country that seems to be holding back: Germany.

As Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, Berlin resisted pressure from its allies and neighbors to deliver weapons to Ukraine, and called for “caution” when it came to sanctions. potential economic sanctions against Moscow.

Europe’s leading economic power’s reluctance to join the West’s firmer posture has drawn criticism from Kyiv and threats of death. undermining efforts to present a united and strong front against Russian aggression.

chairperson Joe Biden was shot for suggesting that there are divisions within the transatlantic alliance on the matter, but that reticence and the resignation of the German Navy Commander over the weekend after pro-Kremlin comments could not be erased. dispel the idea that Berlin could be the weak link of the West. stand.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told Welt am Sonntag weekly newspaper over the weekend “will not help defuse the crisis”. Prime Minister Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday that his country supports Ukraine’s economy and democracy, but not through the supply of weapons.

This stance, he said, is “rooted in developments over the past few years and decades,” reflecting a determination not to engage in or accelerate armed conflict stemming from the pacifist sentiments that developed after the defeat. defeat of Nazi Germany and during the Cold War. .

However, Germany’s inconsistency was in the spotlight this week as NATO members moved to the alliance’s eastern bank around Ukraine.

Denmark is sending F-16 fighter jets to nearby Lithuania; Spain sent ships to join the NATO fleet; France says it is ready to send troops to Romania; Great Britain sent anti-tank weapons directly to Kyiv; and on Monday night the US said it had put 8,500 troops on “high alert” as it discussed deploying forces to the area in addition to sending “lethal aid”.

And Berlin appears to be at least delaying efforts by NATO members to send weapons of their own to Ukraine. A spokesman for the German Defense Ministry said it was “reviewing” a request from Estonia to send Kyiv howitzers after it was reported that Berlin was intercepting the shipment, which once belonged to East Germany. They did not provide a possible timeline for a decision.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Germany of taking a stance that “does not correspond to the level of our relations and the current security situation”. And Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former world heavyweight boxing champion who lived in Germany for many years, went even further.

“Whose side is the German government today on? On the liberal side, that is – Ukraine? Or on the invader’s side? “, he asked on Facebook this week.

Germany said on Wednesday it would deliver 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine, according to Reuters. But this was in response to a specific and resolute request to the country’s opposition to providing military aid.

So why is Germany hesitant to use its power and influence at a time of crisis? According to experts, the combination of short-term economic goals and the long shadow of its 20th century history.

“It’s something that’s always on the mind of Germans when they think about foreign policy in relation to Russia,” said Marcel Dirsus, a non-resident fellow at the Security Policy Institute at the University of Kiel, Germany.

Dirsus argues that the Soviet Union lost some 27 million people in World War II – some of them Ukrainians – and that Germany’s role in the war was a positive factor in Berlin’s decision-making today.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged “the suffering and devastation that we Germans brought to the peoples of the Soviet Union” at a joint press conference with her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow last week. She added that there will be a tough response if Ukraine is invaded. America’s allies are stepping up to counter Russia’s Ukraine threats – with one notable exception

Jake Nichol

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