German tanks are also no threat to “Russian territory,” the chancellor claimed
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stands next to a Leopard 2 main battle tank at the Bundeswehr army training center in Ostenholz, October 17, 2022 © David Hecker / Getty Images
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has claimed a “consensus” was reached with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Kiev will not use Western weapons, including German Leopard tanks, to stage attacks on Russian territory. The West, however, still considers Crimea and four other new Russian regions to be part of Ukraine.
In an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper published on Saturday night, chancellor Scholz once again pinned all the blame for the conflict on Moscow, arguing that Russia’s “unprovoked aggression” justified the collective West’s intervention with military aid to protect the “European peace order.”
“Together with our allies, we are giving battle tanks to Ukraine so that they can defend themselves,” Scholz argued. He added that Berlin “carefully weighed every arms shipment, closely coordinating… first and foremost with America.”
Scholz pledged 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine from the Bundeswehr’s own stocks last month, after the US promised to send some of its own M1 Abrams tanks sometime later this year. In the interview, the German leader dismissed any concerns about his country’s weaponry once again being used against Russian soldiers as “abstruse historical comparisons.”
At a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of victory at the Battle of Stalingrad on Thursday, Russian President Putin said it was “unbelievable, but true – we are once again threatened with German Leopard tanks, with crosses on their hull. And once again seeking to battle Russia in Ukraine with the help of Hitler’s followers, the Banderites.”
“Those seeking to defeat Russia on the battlefield apparently do not realize that a modern war with Russia would be entirely different for them,” he added, promising a response that goes beyond armored vehicles.