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5 Mar, 2024 16:45

German chancellor ‘doesn’t look like a leader’ – ex-NATO chief

The EU must switch to a war economy, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who works as an adviser to Ukraine, has claimed
German chancellor ‘doesn’t look like a leader’ – ex-NATO chief

Germany needs a stronger leader, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz is too slow and timid, former Danish PM and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said. He also urged the US-led bloc to admit Kiev immediately.

Rasmussen was the prime minister of Denmark from 2001 to 2009, and head of NATO until 2014, overseeing the disastrous Libya campaign and failing to integrate Russia into his 'Missile Defense' plans. He has since set up an NGO called the Alliance of Democracies Foundation and became an adviser to the Ukrainian government. 

“We need heads of state who act decisively. In wartime you cannot lead by following public opinion. We need a much more decisive German government,” Rasmussen told the Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) in an interview published on Monday.

“Chancellor Scholz is far too slow, far too hesitant. He doesn’t seem like a leader. This is also why Germany is not given enough credit for the fact that it provides Ukraine with the most financial support after the USA. Scholz would have to act much more offensively,” he added.

Rasmussen’s comments come after Germany was embarrassed by the leaking of a conversation between senior Luftwaffe officers that discussed helping Ukraine strike the Crimean Bridge using German-made Taurus missiles.

The German parliament last month voted against sending the missiles to Ukraine, even as Scholz signed a security pact with Kiev. Rasmussen told NZZ he did not understand the decision.

The EU “must switch to a war economy and provide Ukraine with all the weapons it needs,” Rasmussen insisted, adding that “NATO should extend an invitation to Ukraine to join – for the entire country, including the occupied territories.”

Last November, Rasmussen suggested that the US-led bloc should admit Ukraine without the territories that had chosen to join Russia, arguing that Article 5 would “deter Russia from mounting attacks inside the Ukrainian territory inside NATO and so free up Ukrainian forces to go to the frontline.” 

It was Kiev that rejected the idea, however, ruling out “any compromise with independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty” of Ukraine.