German Chancellor on Saturday pledged continued financial and military assistance to Ukraine as it saying decisions will be made that enable Germany to keep up its support.
Scholz’s remarks at a party conference of his center-left come as his coalition government faces major problems finding enough money to finance the government’s spending plans for 2024 following a landmark court ruling.
What did Scholz say about Ukraine?
The war in Ukraine “will probably not finish anytime soon,” Scholz said, adding that this made it important that Germany continued to be in a position “to keep supporting Ukraine in its fight to defend itself.”
The chancellor said that Russia had abandoned all previous consensus regarding peace and security in Europe when it invaded Ukraine in 2022, and that it had to be made clear that “borders in Europe can no longer be moved by force.”
For this reason, he said, Germany had to be prepared to do more “when others are faltering” — an apparent reference to ahead of that country’s presidential election new year.
Scholz said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not, and must not, reckon with any waning of German assistance.
After initial hesitation, Germany has delivered large quantities of weapons to Ukraine, including tanks and heavy artillery, and is now considered the second-biggest contributor to Kyiv’s war effort, after the US.
What else did Scholz say?
Speaking on domestic affairs, Scholz said his party would not allow large reductions in welfare assistance despite the budgetary problems.
“There will be no dismantling of the welfare state in Germany in such a situation,” he said, while admitting that budget talks with coalition partners the environmentalist Greens and the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) were
But “we are not faced with an insoluble problem,” he added.
“I would like to take this opportunity to convey the confidence that we will succeed. And that we will succeed in a way that is important for the future of this country,” the chancellor told his party colleagues.
Scholz is to on Sunday with Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the FDP and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck of the Greens.
Germany’s budget chaos has been largely caused by a that a move to redirect €60 billion ($65 billion) of unused debt from the pandemic era to a climate fund was unconstitutional. This has left a considerable hole in planned spending by the German government to combat climate change.
There are also differences within the three-way coalition over the with the SPD and Greens wanting it to be lifted once more, something the FDP rejects.
tj/ab (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
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