AAs a reaction to the Ukraine war, the German government wants to increase its armaments aid for partner countries to two billion euros this year. “The funds will largely benefit Ukraine,” Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Twitter on Friday evening. “The Federal Chancellor had requested this at an early stage.” The sum is to be made available via the supplementary budget.
A government spokeswoman said that the departments involved had already agreed in principle two weeks ago to substantially increase the funds for the so-called upgrading initiative. Last week, the sum was set at a total of two billion euros.
The federal government launched the upgrading initiative in 2016 to support partner countries in crisis regions in ensuring security themselves. The funds made available for this were used to support the armed forces, but also the police and civil protection. The first partner countries were Iraq, Jordan, Tunisia, Mali and Nigeria, with Burkina Faso and Niger joining in 2018. According to the Ministry of Defence, 350 projects were funded with 600 million euros by the end of 2021.
Now the pot is to be drastically increased because of the war in Ukraine. Shortly after the start of the war, the German government decided to support Ukraine with arms deliveries. So far, among other things, bazookas, anti-aircraft missiles, machine guns, but also vehicles, night vision devices and protective equipment have been delivered.
With a view to the expected large-scale offensive in the east of the country, Ukraine is also demanding the delivery of heavy weapons from the federal government. “I hope that Scholz will make a positive decision,” said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday evening on ARD. However, the federal government has not yet made a decision on this. The formation of the two billion pot also says nothing about this. Greens and FDP are in favor of supplying heavy weapons, the SPD is split. Scholz hasn’t decided yet. He emphasizes that the decision will be made in consultation with the alliance partners.
CDU leader Friedrich Merz had sharply criticized Scholz (SPD) in the debate on arms deliveries. He told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Scholz’s behavior was endangering the cohesion of the entire international community towards Russia. You don’t want to know any routes, handover times and locations. “We want to know what is being delivered and, above all, why the federal government does not want to deliver available material.” There had also been criticism of Scholz within the traffic light coalition of the FDP and the Greens.
The deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Achim Post rejected the allegations. “Under the leadership of Olaf Scholz, Germany is firmly anchored in cooperation and partnership with our European and international partners. Everything else is a political insinuation that has more to do with domestic political profiling than with foreign policy reality.”
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