Breaking from most NATO members, Germany is rejecting calls and pressure to send weapons to Ukraine amid heightened tensions with Russia.
Ukraine has been asking Germany for warships and missiles. On Wednesday, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, said Kyiv wants the warships to defend its Black Sea and Sea of Azov coasts.
After Melnyk’s comments, a German government spokesman reiterated Berlin’s stance that it won’t send weapons to Ukraine and pointed to earlier comments made by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Baerbock visited Ukraine earlier this week and rejected a request for weapons from Ukraine’s foreign minister. While she had harsh words for Russia, Baerbock stressed the need for dialogue and said diplomacy is “the only viable way to diffuse a highly dangerous situation.”
Scholz and Baerbock are part of a new coalition government formed by Germany’s Social Democrats, Green Party, and Free Democrats. Under the coalition agreement, the parties agreed not to export weapons to crisis regions, a policy that is already being put to the test.
The coalition government also has an interest in easing tensions so gas can finally start flowing through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.