Apr 25, 2022
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Europe will reread Washington: we will not give weapons to Kyiv!

In the photo: infantry fighting vehicles

Pictured: Marder infantry fighting vehicles (Photo: dpa/picture-alliance/TASS)

Bulgaria will not supply weapons to Ukraine. The issue of arms supplies to Kyiv caused controversy among members of the country’s government, in connection with which the ruling coalition decided to abandon this idea.

Bulgaria’s pro-Russian Socialist Party has threatened to leave the ruling coalition if the government approves arms supplies to Kyiv, Bloomberg reported. At the same time, the centre-right Democratic Bulgaria party threatened to leave the coalition if supplies were not forthcoming.

In addition, it became known that the Swiss government has vetoed the re-export of ammunition for Marder infantry fighting vehicles, which are produced by the German defense concern Rheinmetall. According to the Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung, the ammunition is produced at one of the Swiss defense enterprises. “Switzerland prohibits the re-export of such types of weapons to conflict zones,” the newspaper notes.

The day before, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag wrote that Rheinmetall Landsysteme (a subsidiary of Rheinmetall) asked the German government to authorize the delivery of 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. The response of the government, according to the publication, will follow in the “coming days”.

It is worth recalling that Germany also adhered to the concept of strict arms export control for a very long time, according to which it should not be carried out to crisis regions or countries at war, but in the end “surrendered” after the start of a special operation in Russia, starting to supply Kyiv with a lung armament. However, in the new package of deliveries to Ukraine, all heavy weapons turned out to be crossed out, allegedly on the personal order of the chancellor. Olaf Scholz. This led to a split in the ruling elite, there were even rumors about the possible resignation of the chancellor.
In addition, earlier it became known that Israel refused to sell weapons to Ukraine and would instead provide humanitarian assistance.

“This is part of Israel’s humanitarian relief effort, which includes the establishment of field hospitals, the reception of refugees and immigrants, the provision of food and medical assistance, and more,” the country’s defense minister said in a statement. Benny Gantzcited by the Jerusalem Post.

It is noted that this decision followed after negotiations with the Ukrainian colleague Alexey Reznikovwho initially insisted on approving the arms sale but was rebuffed. JP believes that Tel Aviv, with “diplomatic courtesy”, refused to sell and send weapons so as not to aggravate relations with Moscow.

“The split among the European political elites on the issue of arms supplies to Ukraine was quite expected, as well as discussions regarding the content of new sanctions packages,” I am sure Associate Professor of the Department of Political Science of the Financial University under the Government of Russia Dmitry Yezhov.

– In the foreseeable future, such disagreements will only intensify, which contributes to the destruction of the formed myth about European unity in the relevant issue. Refusals to supply weapons testify to the emergence of rational elements in the rhetoric of European politicians. Consistent conductors of anti-Russian rhetoric become hostages of their position. Perhaps the example of German Chancellor Scholz is quite indicative in this respect. It is impossible to exclude the intensification of social protests, which could potentially occur as a result of rising inflation and a decrease in living standards. For the German authorities, the effects of such a prospect will be very sensitive. At the same time, the intra-elite struggle will intensify.

“SP”: – At the same time, the States will still put pressure.

– Pressure from Washington on those who refuse to arm Ukraine cannot be ruled out, but with regard to the policy of the US President Biden the factor of its support by ordinary Americans should also be adequately assessed. According to the available data from sociological surveys, it is extremely low. Thus, one cannot rule out a forced shift in the attention of the American leadership from foreign policy to domestic policy, due to the possible growth of protest moods.

– In Bulgaria, the population as a whole is quite friendly towards Russia, – notes Advisor to the President of the Russian Association for Baltic Studies Vsevolod Shimov.

In addition, there is a high level of disillusionment with European integration, as Bulgaria remains one of the poorest countries in the EU. Local elites are forced to take this into account. They are indeed polarized between the pro-Western wing, ready to follow any instructions from Brussels and Washington, and those who seek a more independent policy and are determined to maintain good relations with Russia.

“SP”: – As a result, the ruling coalition decided to abandon this idea. How long? Brussels will press…

— Yes, Brussels will put pressure. In addition, it must be taken into account that the Bulgarian elites and civil society are literally entangled in a network of Western influence. At the same time, there is no unity on the supply of weapons in the EU itself, so it is quite possible that Bulgaria will be able to sit out.

“SP”: – The Swiss government has vetoed the re-export of ammunition for Marder infantry fighting vehicles, which are produced by the German defense concern Rheinmetall. They explained their decision by their unwillingness to supply weapons to conflict zones. How serious is this justification for Switzerland?

– For Switzerland, the principle of neutrality has always been the basis of foreign policy, therefore, in this case, it is not eager to intervene in a distant and little connected with its interests conflict.

“SP”: – Germany also followed the principle of non-delivery of weapons to conflict zones for 20 years, but eventually surrendered. Why?

Germany, unlike Switzerland, is not a neutral state. It is deeply integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures, and is militarily dependent on the United States. Therefore, there are much more levers of pressure on Berlin.

“SP”: – Nevertheless, Berlin refuses to supply heavy weapons, and this issue has split the German elites. They say that it may come to the resignation of the Chancellor. How serious is everything for Germany?

— Yes, they can try to dump Scholz as not radical enough. Despite the mantras about the consolidation of the West in the face of the “Russian threat”, we see that there is no real unity. Given that Germany is a key EU country, a lot depends on its position. Therefore, in place of Scholz, they may try to introduce a more radical figure.

“SP”: – Who else in Europe, in your opinion, will refuse to supply weapons to Kyiv, and who will take the initiative himself?

– In fact, there are not so many radically anti-Russian countries in Europe. This is primarily Poland, the Baltic countries, the UK. The rest are hesitant or would prefer a more moderate and pragmatic approach. Therefore, much here will depend on whether Washington and London manage to impose a radically anti-Russian course on the EU, whether Scholz can stay in power and defend his moderate course, as well as on the outcome of the presidential elections in France.

“SP”: -Earlier it became known that Israel refused to sell weapons to Ukraine. But what about solidarity with the West and the United States? Will Washington apply any sanctions against those who refuse to arm Ukraine? Which? And who will he dare to put pressure on, and who won’t?

“Israel proceeds from its national interests. He has no reason to quarrel with Russia, Ukraine is far away, and Israel has no vital interests there either. In addition, part of the Israeli elite, which has territorial conflicts with all its neighbors, may be quite sympathetic to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As for the United States, an influential Israeli lobby operates there, which will extinguish any attempts of unfriendly actions on the part of Washington (on Tel Aviv, – WELL.).

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