Ground troops: Berlin appeases the dispute between Ukraine supporters – politics

The federal government has countered the impression of a rift in German-French relations. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Wednesday in Berlin that he was surprised that the discussion about the deployment of ground troops from NATO states in Ukraine was now being turned into a “German-French problem”. After a meeting of Ukraine supporters in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron brought up the use of ground troops and admitted that there was still a lack of support for this. Two years ago, many said “never, never” to the delivery of tanks and suggested “sleeping bags and helmets” instead. This was seen as a broadside against Germany and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

Hebestreit now emphasized that France is isolated when it comes to the use of ground troops, which is why it is not a Franco-German conflict. The French president marked a “position for which there is otherwise little international support.” Germany, on the other hand, belongs to “the large group of people who see things differently in this case.” There are “different positions”, but that is “not dramatic”. It is “completely legitimate to take a different position. It is important that we act in a unified manner.”

The government spokesman also denies any disagreements with Great Britain

Chancellor Scholz reiterated his stance in a video message on Wednesday: “To be clear: As German Chancellor, I will not send any soldiers from our Bundeswehr to Ukraine.”

Also in the discussion about the delivery of Tauruscruise missiles to Ukraine, Hebestreit denied any dissonances between Germany and Great Britain and France. Scholz had spoken of “what the British and French are doing in terms of target control and support for target control cannot be done in Germany.”

The core issue is the question of how the requirement not to attack Russian territory with Western weapons can be ensured. Scholz seems to want to rely neither on assurances from Ukraine nor on technical precautions. However, he also rules out a surveillance function for the Bundeswehr. “German soldiers must not be linked anywhere or anywhere with the goals that this system achieves,” he said.

Irritating statements from the Chancellor about NATO partners

After Scholz’s statements, the British Ministry of Defense clarified the use of cruise missiles of this type Storm Shadow by Ukraine “and its targeting processes are a matter for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” Britain is simply providing the country with equipment to defend itself against Russian aggression. Hebestreit said he saw “no contradiction” to Scholz’s statements here, without elaborating. The Chancellor’s statements were met with surprise because they suggested that NATO partners were involved in Ukraine’s military activities.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed, with reference to Macron’s considerations on ground troops, that Great Britain has “a small number of people that we have in the country to support the armed forces of Ukraine.” Beyond that, there are no plans to send soldiers.

The British Ministry of Defense emphasized that Ukraine’s use of long-range weapons systems to defend its territory has changed the strategic situation and allowed the country to successfully put pressure on Russian troops, their logistics and supply routes. The British government says it has received a guarantee from Ukraine that it will not use the cruise missiles against targets on Russian territory.

According to statements from military circles, France, Ukraine, has also received such a guarantee Scalp-Cruise missile supplies, the French model, which is identical to the British Storm Shadow. Accordingly, the government in Kiev agreed to use the missiles only “within the internationally recognized borders” of Ukraine, which also included Crimea, which has been annexed by Russia since 2014, and occupied areas in the east of the country. The Chancellor’s statements also caused irritation in Paris.

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