May 13, 2022
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Kyiv is indignant: Berlin, when will we have Gepards?

In the photo: German anti-aircraft self-propelled gun Gepard

In the photo: German anti-aircraft self-propelled gun Gepard (Photo: IMAGO / Sven Eckelkamp / TASS)

Germany is delaying the transfer of Gepard self-propelled guns to Ukraine, which is misleading in terms of deliveries, German Welt reports.

Until now, the Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht did not inform the Ukrainian government that Kyiv itself would have to order Gepard anti-aircraft guns from the weapons company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW),” the statement said. Instead, Ukraine was told that it would receive tanks directly from the government.

The publication also claims that Germany’s promises to Kyiv do not coincide with Lambrecht’s comments to the German public, since the day after the announcement of the supply of Gepard, the Minister of Defense claimed that the deal would be carried out through a contract between Ukraine and KMW, and the federal government only gives permission for the operation.

Thus, the uncertainty of the Gepard transfer procedure has led to the fact that the actual delivery dates of the installations remain unknown.

What does it mean? Are the Germans still trying to relieve themselves of responsibility for arming Kyiv, or is Ukraine again wishful thinking?

“Most likely, at first Ukraine wished for reality, but Germany eventually forced her to accept reality as it is,” believes Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Regional Studies and Foreign Policy, Russian State University for the Humanities Vadim Trukhachev.

Germany will not interfere with the arming of Ukraine, but will not encourage it either. Yes, Ukraine will have to pay itself or take a loan. By and large, the German authorities want to distance themselves somewhat from this process. So that there would be fewer problems, and so that in the absence of the desired result, problems with Russia or weapons falling into the wrong hands, their own voters did not ask the current government to the fullest extent.

“SP”: Or maybe the Germans simply do not want to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine and are deliberately looking for a way to disrupt the supply?

– In general, it is. Given the level of irresponsibility of the Ukrainian leadership (and the Germans see it very well), Germany does not want heavy weapons to get either outright neo-Nazis, or just bandits, or they would be resold to third countries.

“SP”: To what extent and why is it critical for them?

— Germany is not far from Ukraine. And these weapons may well end up within the European Union – including on German soil. And not in those hands…

“SP”: Kyiv will try to stir up a scandal? Will the German authorities be put under pressure? Who exactly and how?

– There is no doubt that the ambassador, who has already become a show business star, will put pressure Miller. Scandal and hysteria are the main methods of modern Ukrainian diplomacy. And many German media are happy to join this hysteria – first of all, the frankly Russophobic tabloid Bild.

“SP”: The uncertainty of the Gepard handover procedure has meant that the actual delivery times for the units remain unknown. When do you think they will be delivered, and will they be?

– Surely something will get to Ukraine. But at a higher price, in smaller quantities and not as fast as the Ukrainian authorities would like.

“Today, Ukraine receives a huge amount of weapons from Western countries, but the conditions under which they are supplied are in many cases not advertised,” notes political scientist, head of the Open Analytics project Roman Travin.

“Earlier, German officials spoke of their readiness to provide military assistance to Ukraine for more than a billion euros, so even if Kyiv has to pay “real money” for this particular equipment, they receive and will receive assistance from the Germans, it’s another matter that before It is not entirely clear under what conditions it is granted.

“SP”: Do you think the German authorities are moving arrows? Don’t want to take responsibility for deliveries?

– Until February 24, the Germans consistently refused to supply weapons to Ukraine. So, at the beginning of the year, Germany, in response to urgent requests for the supply of weapons, sent five thousand helmets to Ukraine, which was perceived as an insult and caused outrage in the Ukrainian media space.

However, now Berlin has revised its position and weapons from Germany to Ukraine are already being delivered. The Bundestag supported the supply of weapons to Kyiv, including heavy ones, by an overwhelming majority, and Chancellor Scholz repeatedly confirmed his readiness to continue such deliveries.

So, today it is clearly not a matter of unwillingness to take responsibility. Another thing is that even according to official statements, and they, apparently, reflect reality, the Germans had relatively few stocks of weapons that could be supplied immediately.

The tone with which Ukraine allows itself to communicate with Germany today is enough to recall the regular boorish attacks of the Ukrainian ambassador Melnyk or the scandal with unwillingness to Zelensky accept the President of Germany Steinmeier, – suggests that Kyiv made another demand for help, and Berlin chose not to object. But now there are some objective problems with deliveries in the format desired by the Ukrainians.

“SP”: Now what? Will deliveries be delayed or even postponed? Kyiv will try to scandal?

– Ukraine, in principle, conducts a very active information policy on the verge of scandal and hysteria all the time, and since this gives a real result, it will continue to do so in the near future. And even if the delivery of this particular batch of equipment is postponed or delayed, Kyiv will be offered some kind of alternative compensation. The logic of confrontation is such that Western countries will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine on a very serious scale, and Germany will have to participate in this to one degree or another.

“SP”: Is there a feeling that the Germans still do not want to arm Ukraine and are trying by all means to slow down the process? This is a matter of politics or economics (you can earn money). Can they just pick up and drop?

– As far as one can judge, Scholz, despite the fact that he has to support the supply of weapons, is not particularly enthusiastic about this idea, he has been criticized more than once by other German politicians and the media for not doing enough in this direction. Even the Poles allowed themselves to make statements that Germany helps Ukraine much less than it could. There were speeches criticizing the supply of weapons and from the authorities of individual German regions, and leaders of public opinion. But in general, there is a consensus in the German elite and in the country’s leading media that Ukraine needs to be supported. So they are unlikely to refuse support unless there are some serious new inputs.

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