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15 Oct, 2023 10:14

‘You owe us’ – Ukraine tells Germany

Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said he’s been trying to instill sense of guilt among officials in Berlin in citing events of WWI and WWII
‘You owe us’ – Ukraine tells Germany

Germany should assume responsibility for the wrongs inflicted on Ukraine during the First and Second World Wars and act accordingly, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has insisted. The diplomat claimed that Berlin appears to have developed such sentiments only toward Jewish people and Russia.

In an interview with Ukraine’s 1+1 TV channel broadcast on Saturday, Kuleba said that “Germany, for example, has never felt any guilt toward Ukraine,” adding that he has “more than once bluntly” told his colleagues in Berlin: “you owe us one.” The minister explained that he has been trying to “awaken a sense of responsibility” in Germans.

Speaking at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Kiev last month, Kuleba appeared to ridicule Berlin’s refusal to arm his country with long-range Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missiles.

When asked by a reporter whether his German colleague had given him “any hope” that Berlin would change tack on the issue, the Ukrainian minister said Baerbock still stood by the official line of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government. However, the diplomat then proceeded to turn to the German official, telling her: “You will do it anyway. It’s just a matter of time.” He insisted that there was no “single objective argument against” supplying the rockets to Kiev.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, in turn, described Kuleba’s remark as “out of line,” reminding the diplomat that Berlin is the second-largest donor of weapons to Kiev after Washington.

Germany has been reluctant to hand the missiles over to Ukraine, citing concerns of further escalation of its conflict with Russia.

In a TV interview on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which was launched in early June, “has failed completely.

On Thursday, Kirill Budanov, the head Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, acknowledged that Kiev’s forces were not merely behind schedule, but had completely “fallen out of it” due to several things not going as “smoothly” as planned. Concurring with this assessment, senior adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky pointed the finger at Kiev’s Western backers over sluggish weapons deliveries.

Last week, President Putin estimated that Ukrainian forces had lost “over 90,000 people,” 557 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles since the start of its counteroffensive. Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that the West is using Ukraine as a proxy in its conflict with Russia, and is willing to fight to the last Ukrainian.