On making the decision to send the Leopard tanks to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz immediately claimed that in Europe it was Germany and Britain who were supplying most of the arms for Ukraine. He said that Germany is doing this “with great energy and on a large scale.”
Brave words for a head of government who had to be forced into sending the tanks by the Pentagon’s chief, Lloyd Austin, during the last meeting at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base.
Scholz really could have spared us all this spectacle, especially as it was soon followed by his refusal to supply any fighter planes to Ukraine. The U.S., Poland, and the Netherlands are already talking about the need to supply military jets, whereas Scholz is talking about red lines.
But no doubt once his arm is twisted by the U.S., he will claim that he always dreamed of German Tornados flying over Donbas.
Ukrainian pilots are already training on fighter planes in the U.S., and it is public knowledge that these are F-16s. The Dutch foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, is publicly talking about handing over F-16s.
The German chancellor also forgets that in the spring of last year, Poland was already willing to hand over MIG-29 fighters and ended up providing Ukraine with spare parts for their MIG fighters.
But Scholz knows what he is doing. He is trying to make sure Germany is part of a success story. He sees a chance of victory for Ukraine and wants to claim his share of the spoils.
Poland also has to consider how to expand its military aid to Ukraine, and moreover, it must do more to tell people about its close cooperation with the country.
Otherwise, it will transpire that Germany was the party responsible for Ukraine maintaining its independence and victory over Russia.