Germany fighting Russia ‘with Ukrainian hands’ – ambassador
Germany is doing everything possible to avoid a direct clash with Russia, and is instead using Ukraine as a proxy in an attempt to inflict a strategic defeat on Moscow, Russian ambassador to Berlin Sergey Nechaev has claimed.
During an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published on Monday, Nechaev did not rule out that Germany would provide fighter jets to Kiev, despite Chancellor Olaf Scholz repeatedly saying in recent months that there are no plans to do so.
“The range of German weapons supplied to Ukraine is constantly expanding. From the deliveries of helmets, Berlin moved on to pumping the Kiev regime with modern deadly weapon systems, including heavy battle tanks, howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, and air defense guns,” Nechaev said.
“The German government has long crossed all possible ‘red lines’ in its effort to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. So, we have no particular illusions,” the diplomat added.
However, according to Nechaev, Berlin will not go as far as sending its own troops to fight Russia on the battlefield.
Such a move “would amount to the direct involvement of Germany in an armed conflict with Russia, which Berlin, at least at this stage, is trying to avoid in every possible way. And it’s unlikely that the German voters will approve of such plans. It’s easier to fight with someone else’s hands,” Nechaev said.
The German government has been among Ukraine’s largest backers in the EU during the conflict with Russia. The country’s armed forces, the Bundeswehr, say they spent €2 billion ($2.2 billion) on military aid to Kiev last year and expect to allocate another €2.2 billion ($2.4 billion) in 2023.
This year, Berlin has already promised to supply 18 Leopard 2 main battle tanks and 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Kiev, among other things. Ukrainian troops are also being trained to operate hardware inside Germany, with the first group of servicemen completing their course in mid-March.
Russia has long decried weapons supplies to Ukraine by the US, UK, Germany and other EU nations, claiming that they only serve to prolong the fighting, and will ultimately not change the outcome of the Russian military campaign. Moscow has argued that the assistance provided to Kiev in numerous areas already makes Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.