Guns, diplomacy, sanctions: Germany must not overestimate itself – politics

Germany isolated, reputation ruined, deemed unreliable: That, in short, was an allegation of opposition to the federal government. It’s about Ukrainian policy, arms supplies, heavy weapons, main battle tanks. A lot of things get messed up in the debate. His tone of criticism was accusatory, sometimes harsh. Could the massacre of the Russian invaders have been prevented if Germany had provided the necessary weapons at the right time? Such a question is asked.

But there are other readings. So far, not a single NATO country has delivered Western-style main battle tanks to Ukraine. At least not officially. Heavy weapons? Yes. Infantry fighting vehicles, howitzers, artillery, drones, Stinger missiles: most of them come from the United States.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

It is said that Ukraine must win the war. But apparently there is an informal agreement among some Western NATO member states not to make certain weapons – such as battle tanks and warplanes – available to Ukraine, at least for now, so as not to give Russia any reason to see this as an entry. war. Of course, NATO did not officially decide this because the alliance did not supply any weapons.

What mandates do Germany and France have?

“Germany has provided Ukraine with thousands of weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles,” a NATO spokesman said. However, stock is limited and some are sick. The promised but decommissioned Gepard tank had to be put into service first. This takes time. A Federal Security Council decision on the delivery of the Marder armored personnel carrier is still pending. But didn’t Germany overestimate its ability to decisively influence the course of the war – whether through arms, diplomacy or sanctions?

Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron spoke with Vladimir Putin on the phone for 80 minutes over the weekend. They called for an end to the war, and Putin warned of further shipments of heavy weapons and a worsening of the humanitarian situation. But what mandates do Germany and France have for this initiative? Can Scholz and Macron – at the head of the Ukrainian government – discuss a negotiated solution that could affect Ukraine’s territorial integrity? And who are they talking to, the European Union? There was already a representative there for foreign and security policy, it was the Spaniard Josep Borrell. Putin, on the other hand, should at least be interested in what his closest rival, US President Joe Biden, has to say.

China and India can evade Western sanctions

Different interests within the EU also clash in the struggle for an oil embargo. Some countries depend on Russian oil. However, in the medium to long term it will be more decisive whether energy-hungry countries like China and India avoid western sanctions.

The horrors of war increase the desire to help. But the capacity is limited. Anyone who suggests that German tanks, extensive phone calls with Putin, and an EU oil embargo could bring Russia to its knees, raises expectations that may not be met. It does not speak against such actions. It only speaks against igniting illusions.

Ambrose Fernandez

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