Ukrainian crisis: the SPD and the FDP consider the delivery of protective equipment possible

abroad traffic light coalition

SPD and FDP consider delivery of protective equipment to Ukraine possible

A Ukrainian soldier walks in a tren

A Ukrainian soldier walks in a trench at the separation line of pro-Russian rebels, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. President Joe Biden warned the Russian VlaDimir Putin that the United States could impose new sanctions on Russia if it took further military action against Ukraine. (AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak)

What: AP/Andriy Dubchak

SPD politician Michael Roth and his FDP colleague Marcus Faber consider the delivery of helmets and protective vests to Ukraine possible. Green foreign politician Jürgen Trittin says arms shipments are not a solution to the Ukrainian conflict.

AGiven the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the desire to support Ukraine with certain military assets is growing within the traffic light coalition. “We agreed in the coalition agreement not to deliver arms to crisis regions. The principle applies,” Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael Roth (SPD) told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (“RND”). However, a discussion of “protective devices such as helmets and protective vests” is “conceivable”.

The defense policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group, Marcus Faber, also told the “RND” that a delivery of helmets, protective vests and anti-drone defense to Ukraine should be considered.

Amid tensions, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) will visit Kyiv and Moscow early next week. According to Green Party foreign policy expert Jürgen Trittin, there are no guarantees of success for delicate visits to Ukraine and Russia – he also opposes arms deliveries. “It remains to be seen whether Russian Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov is really interested in an exchange of views or whether he will only repeatedly present known positions,” Trittin told “RND”. Baerbock will stress “that this conflict cannot be resolved by supplying arms to a war zone”.

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Union vice-faction Johann Wadephul described Baerbock’s trip as a litmus test for the minister. In view of Moscow’s threatening gestures, he expects Baerbock “to adopt a clear position and make unequivocal announcements so that Russia can begin a course of de-escalation”, he told “RND”. “She formulated very high standards in her Russian policy, which she must now live up to.”

Bundestag Defense Committee Chairwoman Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann said in the daily SWR2 interview that Ukraine has a strong interest in NATO membership. “That has been denied to him so far,” said the FDP politician. But Russia lives “a bit in the past”. The world can no longer be divided into a Russian bloc and an American bloc. Russian President Vladimir Putin lit the fire. “And we shouldn’t be supporting any narrative that we… are the ones setting the fire here.”

The leader of the conservative EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, called on the EU to take a unified position in the crisis. The EU must be able to “react decisively” to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the CSU politician told the Funke media group (Saturday). The federal government must take a clear position on Putin. He accused “various” SPD leaders of relativizing Putin’s actions and thereby weakening Germany and the EU. “The fickleness of the SPD in particular must end.”

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