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Report: Washington is extremely angry with Scholz
01/22/2023, 4:15 p.m
Germany is currently making itself unpopular with its allies: the Chancellor’s refusal to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine is causing considerable resentment, especially among the Americans. According to one report, the US Secretary of Defense meeting at the Chancellery was “tense”.
The German government’s reluctance to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine has caused great resentment among the German allies. During Lloyd Austin’s visit to Berlin and Ramstein on Thursday and Friday, the US Secretary of Defense tried in vain to persuade Germany to at least grant export permits for third countries. This is reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, citing an internal report from American government circles. According to the report, Austin got into a heated argument with Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt during his visit to the Federal Chancellery.
Since Defense Minister Boris Pistorius was only sworn into office on Thursday and the arms export decision is made in the Chancellery and by Chancellor Olaf Scholz anyway, the serious debates about arms deliveries took place with Chancellor Schmidt. The meeting between Schmidt and Austin was “tense”. The media report was denied in the federal government. “We cannot confirm the report – neither in tone nor in content,” said government circles according to Reuters information.
Rumors that the federal government itself would only be willing to deliver “Leopard battle tanks” to Ukraine if the White House also delivered its Abrams battle tanks apparently brought the last straw. According to the report, Austin received this information on the way to Berlin. The White House then intervened with unusual severity.
Particularly harsh confrontation
US security adviser Jake Sullivan called the chancellery and spoke to Scholz’s foreign policy adviser, Jens Plötner. According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Sullivan read the “Riot Act” – a formulation that describes a particularly harsh confrontation in diplomatic circles.
The American side reiterated that there could be no joint delivery of Abrams and “Leopard” main battle tanks. Austin pointed out that the Abrams would be too costly and time-consuming to relocate and operate. In this context, the US Secretary of Defense also emphasized that the US has already delivered far more armaments than Germany – including explosive devices that could well hit Crimea.
The Russian leadership repeatedly emphasizes that it regards Crimea and other illegally annexed areas of Ukraine as Russian territory. Should Ukraine attempt to recapture these areas, Russia would see this as an offensive attack. NATO countries have already provided Ukraine with numerous heavy weapons that can also be used to retake territory, including artillery and multiple rocket launchers.
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