Germany not to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine – chancellor


BERLIN, February 6. /TASS/. Germany will not supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday before leaving for the United States.

“The German government has pursued a clear course for a long time: we never supply lethal weapons to crisis regions and are not supplying them to Ukraine,” he told ARD. “My predecessor [Angela Merkel] was committed to this course and it has been and will be right,” he stressed, adding that opinion polls indicate that most of Germans share the government’s position on this matter.

“My duty is to do what is in the interests of the German people and what in this case is the point of view of our citizens,” he noted.

He refrained from answering a question about deploying more German troops in the Baltic countries. He recalled that next week he plans to meet in Berlin with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nuseda and with Estonian and Latvian Prime Ministers, Kaja Kallas and Krisjanis Karins. The German chancellor noted that it is very important to coordinate actions with these countries and not via the mass media.

Berlin is against supplying weapons to Kiev but Germany is under strong pressure from its European Union partners, primarily Poland and the Baltic countries, and the United States, which demands Berlin send clear signals to Moscow. Some Ukrainian politicians have accused Germany of “betraying its friends.” Suddeutsche Zeitung said on Friday that the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin had issued a verbal note to the German foreign ministry with a list of wepons Kiev wanted to have.

Recently, Western and Ukrainian media outlets have been echoing claims about a possible Russian aggression against Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier slammed such statements as “empty and groundless” and their goal is to whip up tensions. He stressed that Russia doesn’t pose any threat to anyone, but did not rule out possible provocations to justify the remarks in question and warned that attempts at using force to settle the crisis in southeastern Ukraine would have the most severe consequences.