Reuters reported on Monday that the United States will begin training Ukrainian artillery to use American howitzers. In turn, the leaders of the Christian Democratic Union parties, the Green Party and the German Free Democratic Party criticized Chancellor Olaf Schulz for delaying the supply of arms to Ukraine.
Reuters reported, quoting a high-ranking official of the US Defense Department, that the US military expects to start in the coming days training the Ukrainian army to use howitzers. He also reported that the exercises will take place outside Ukraine.
Schulz called for decisive action on arms deliveries
“This open dispute in the coalition over the supply of arms to Ukraine harms our country’s reputation in the world,” Bild newspaper quoted Monday in a commentary to Christian Democratic Union leader Friedrich Merz for the Funk media group. In Germany, not only politicians from the opposition CDU / CSU parties, but also coalition partners from the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party are asking Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to act decisively on the issue of arms supplies.
The head of the Bundestag Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Struck Zimmermann (FDP) in Welt, on Monday criticized the position of Chancellor Schulz, who still does not take binding decisions. As explained by Strack-Zimmermann, she regrets that the chancellor is unable to clearly state the readiness of Germany to deliver heavy weapons. – This is not the time for discussions, not only about Ukraine, but also about us in Europe – she explained.
On Good Friday, it was announced that the government intends to significantly increase financial assistance for military procurement in partner countries this year – from 225 million euros to 2 billion euros, of which Ukraine should receive more than half. Politician Norbert Röttgen criticized this decision, saying that “Ukraine cannot defend itself with money, it needs weapons, in addition, as soon as possible.”
One of Schulz’s most vocal critics in recent days, the head of the Bundestag’s European affairs committees, Anton Hofriter (Greens), said that increasing the financial aid was “good as a first step, but it cannot replace the direct supply of arms”. Aside from the SPD, the Alternative for Germany and the Left Party, a majority in the Bundestag supports the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine, as mentioned in the Darfur Peace Agreement.
Main image source: STR / PAP / EPA
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