Germany will not send fighter jets to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed on Sunday, as Kyiv calls on the West for even more weapons to counter the Russian invasion.
After several weeks of hesitation, Berlin decided on Wednesday to send 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and to allow other countries to do the same.
In an interview on Sunday with the Tagesspiegel newspaper about his reaction to a request from Kyiv to receive fighter planes, Olaf Scholz said, “The question of fighter planes does not even arise. I can only advise against get into a constant bidding war when it comes to weapon systems”.
“As soon as a decision (on the tanks) is taken, a new debate starts in Germany” on something else, “that is not serious and undermines the confidence of the citizens in the decisions of the government”, he added.
The decision to send German tanks to Ukraine was accompanied by a similar choice by the United States to supply the Ukrainian army with American-made Abrams tanks.
While thanking Berlin and Washington, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately called for more, including fighter planes and long-range missiles.
In his interview, Olaf Scholz again warns against the “risk of escalation” with Moscow. “There is no war between NATO and Russia. We will not allow such an escalation,” he said.
According to him, it is “necessary” to continue talking with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Their last meeting dates back to the beginning of December. “I’m going to talk to Putin on the phone again,” he says, without specifying a deadline.
“But of course it is also clear that as long as Russia continues to wage war by relentlessly attacking (Ukraine), the current situation will not change,” he said.
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