Scholz allies want Germany to stop arming Ukraine – Der Spiegel
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is facing dissent within his own party ranks from those who want Berlin to stop providing Kiev with weapons, Der Spiegel has claimed. The outlet suggests the left wing of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has also called on Scholz to engage in dialogue with Russia.
In its article published on Friday, Der Spiegel said the chancellor’s decision to beef up the German military, sever ties with Russia, and ship heavy weaponry to Ukraine earlier this year was hard to swallow for many in a political party that had for decades stood for disarmament and a policy of detente.
According to the outlet, a group of SPD members representing the party’s left wing have penned a letter to Scholz, titled “The weapons must fall silent!” In it, they advocate a diplomatic offensive as a means of ending the Ukraine conflict.
Among the signatories are multiple members of the Bundestag and the European Parliament, as well as prominent party figures from several German regions, the article claims.
“A continuation of the war will only bring more deaths and destruction,” the appeal seen by Der Spiegel reportedly says.
The SPD members are also quoted as calling for a “ceasefire as soon as possible as a basis for comprehensive peace negotiations.” They allegedly want Berlin to engage countries that could act as mediators, with China mentioned as a good candidate for that role.
The letter reportedly goes on to argue that, while a fundamental improvement in relations between Germany and Russia would only be possible in a “post-Putin era,” Berlin has to establish a “modus vivendi” for the time being that would help to prevent “further escalation of the war.” The German government is also urged to acknowledge “realities,” however unpleasant they may be, the article claimed.
The ‘peace camp’ within the SPD also warned Scholz of the risk of a nuclear conflict breaking out, and cautioned him against crossing the “red line” that would mean Germany’s direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict, the outlet says. The lawmakers allegedly argued that attempts to establish a no-fly zone over the Eastern European country, as well as the shipment of battle tanks or fighter jets, could trigger such an apocalyptic scenario.