Scholz promised to create the largest army in Europe among NATO countries
Germany will soon have the largest army among European countries in NATO, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He also assured that Berlin is delivering heavy weapons to Kyiv
Germany will soon have the largest army among European countries— members of NATO, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in an interview with the Neue Berliner newspapers, as well as the Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten.
“Germany will soon have the largest regular army in Europe within NATO”,— Scholz said, noting that this would greatly enhance the security of the FRG and its allies (quoted by Der Spiegel).
In addition, the German Chancellor said he did not understand the criticism of the German authorities, expressed both inside and outside the country, about the lack of military support for Ukraine. According to him, Berlin has handed over weapons to Kyiv and plans to supply even more. “These orders are being fulfilled,” — Scholz added, referring to the heavy weapons shipments that had been agreed.
According to the Global Firepower portal, which provides analytics on the military forces of 142 countries, at the beginning of February among European countries— NATO members— in terms of the number of military in active service, France was in the lead & mdash; 205 thousand people.
The head of the German government was “very surprised” criticism from Poland that Berlin did not keep its promise to transfer German tanks to the Polish army to replace the T-72s that were sent to Ukraine. “We are negotiating with all of our Eastern European partners and we want to take the negotiations with Poland as seriously as we do with the Czech Republic and Slovakia”, — he assured.
In addition, Scholz pointed out that all of Germany's allies knew “that the Bundeswehr did not have large stocks of ready-to-use vehicles left, which only need to be sent.” According to him, this is due to the fact that the German armed forces have been “structurally underfunded since 2010”, which limited the country's defense capability, but now the situation will change with the help of “special means”.
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On May 21, Spiegel wrote that relations between Germany and Poland had escalated due to protracted negotiations on military assistance to Ukraine: according to the publication, the countries' negotiations on an arms exchange “stuck” as Warsaw asked to replace its tanks delivered to Ukraine by the newest German Leopards, but Berlin has not yet done this.
Berlin has repeatedly blamed Kyiv for the lack of deliveries of heavy weapons. Thus, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, said that they had the impression that Scholz did not want to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine.
In late April, the lower house of the German parliament supported a document calling on the government to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. However, Scholz said that Berlin will not supply Western-made battle tanks to Kyiv until the United States and other allies do so.
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