German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his country has rejected a request by Ukraine to acquire military weapons amid continuing tension with Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.
“I am convinced that the conflict can only be solved by political channels, and that should be clear to all involved,” Maas explained. “This remains the guiding principle of our engagement, and it won’t change – weapons deliveries don’t help in this.”
Recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that he would like Germany to supply weapons to his country in a bid to strengthen its defenses. He also pointed out that Germany has great ships and powerful assault rifles.
“Germany did not provide us with military assistance, but it could have done so,” the president stressed.
However, Maas emphasized that Germany acknowledges Ukraine’s right to defend its territory. He even said that his country was Ukraine’s biggest bilateral donor in 2014. “We do not question Ukraine’s right to self-defense,” he stated.
‘Reconsider Germany’s Principle’
Zelensky explained that his country is interested in procuring patrol boats, radio communication systems, and armored personnel carriers in addition to high-powered guns.
He also believes that Germany should reconsider its principle of not supplying military weapons to conflict zones, especially in situations where people’s lives are at stake.
However, for CDU/CSU Bundestag bloc Deputy Chairman Johann Wadephul, the conflict in eastern Ukraine does not have a military solution and that it would be “wrong” to supply arms and munitions.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert shares this belief, reiterating the country’s commitment to banning weapons supplies to war-torn areas. “We adhere to a restrictive and responsible armaments policy and we do not give permission to supply weapons to Ukraine,” he said.