Not even two months in office and the traffic light coalition seems to have gone off-course with Germany's involvement, or lack of, in the Ukrainia
Not even two months in office and the traffic light coalition seems to have gone off-course with Germany’s involvement, or lack of, in the Ukrainian crisis mocked by politicians and journalists across the world.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has faced criticism by the German press for his approach to Russia. Eric Gujer Editor in Chief of the German newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, condemned the traffic light coalition for playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands. Brandished across page one of the daily newspaper this week, Eric Gujer wrote: “Once again, Berlin talks and does not act. This is how the Kremlin likes Germany best.”
Despite Ukraine’s requests for defence weapons and armour to help with the escalating situation with Russia, Germany sent 5,000 helmets instead of the required 100,000.
On January 19, Ukraine wrote to Germany’s Ministry of Defence asking for equipment assistance, citing helmets and body armour needed to bolster the country’s protection should a Russian invasion occur.
Christine Lambrecht, Germany’s Minister of Defence, told Ukraine the 5,000 helmets sent “a very clear signal that we stand by your side”.
Kiev’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko’s responded to the Minister of Defence’s statement.
He called the delivery of 5,000 helmets “an absolute joke” and asked: “What does Germany want to send next in support? Pillows?”.
“The plan is obviously for 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers to run across the border and head-butt the Russian troops deployed there,” Marina Weisband, an author and former German politician, wrote on Twitter.
Ruprecht Polenz, a prominent member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, tweeted: “Could you get any more embarrassing? Will 5,000 helmets make a Russian invasion less likely?”
German Journalist Gabor Steingart wrote in one of the country’s prominent daily newspapers this week, “the self-proclaimed “progressive coalition” has achieved what neither NATO nor the Pope have been able to do before. Americans, Europeans, Russians and Ukrainians are peacefully united in the mockery of the Germans”.
READ MORE: UK considering ‘major military offer’ to Europe
Germany has been criticised for putting its own economic interests ahead of helping protect the former Soviet republic against Russia’s vast army.
The difficult attitude demonstrated by German leaders has been attributed to the country’s close business and economic ties to Russia. This includes the Russian-owned gas pipe – the Nord Stream 2 – that runs from Russia to Germany.
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ described the Nord Stream 2 gas pipe, which increases the country’s reliance on Russia, as a “private business matter”.
US Republican Senator said: “The German Chancellor has declared that he seeks a positive reset with Putin. This is the same Putin that has tanks on the border of Ukraine and he is preparing to invade.”
It has long been noted that Germany is taking a special path in terms of energy policy, but now also in foreign policy. The country is focused on “international responsibility” and say it is committed to “multilateralism” but the failure of Chancellor Scholz to act on his plans has been mocked by the German media.
EU nationals who left UK ‘after Brexit’ admit ‘saddest day of life’ [INSIGHT]
Maddie McCann mystery blown open: new ‘shocking’ evidence uncovered [ANALYSIS]
Russia’s ‘unrivalled’ missile defence system ‘completed’ [COMMENT]
Gabor Steingart, German Journalist and founder and publisher of The Pioneer, reported: “The chancellor plays no eye-opening role in any of this. He enters and he exits; but in terms of power politics, he does not throw Germany’s weight into the balance, neither domestically – where corona protesters are running rings around him – nor in foreign policy – where Americans and Russians are negotiating the fate of Europe without Europe in Geneva.
“Where is the positive? The answer is not difficult for us: Nobody needs to be afraid of this kind of Germany. The country is neither militarily aggressive nor politically ambitious. However, it is very transparent: you can watch the main actor on the open stage as he edits the script and rehearses the dialogues.
He added: “We should be lenient. Compared to the past Olaf Scholz, who appeared as “The Deputy” in the past season, the current main character has to live with a tragic disadvantage: the new Scholz lost his prompter on election day.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.