German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned on Tuesday there was no guarantee Russia would not invade another country after its assault on Ukraine.
Speaking alongside his Swedish and Finnish counterparts at a press conference in northern Germany, Scholz said it had become accepted in Europe over the past decades that borders “would no longer be moved by force and that the sovereignty of States must be respected”. Russia has upended that status quo and therefore no one can assume that President Vladimir Putin wouldn’t do so “by force on another occasion”, the German leader said.
“That’s why we decided at the same time to expand our defense efforts,” he added, citing increased funding for the German military and the decision to spend 2% of its GDP on spending. defense. He also underlined Germany’s support for the admission of Finland and Sweden into the NATO military alliance.
“It is clear to us that if these two countries decide that they want to join the NATO alliance, they can count on our support,” he said.
Scholz reiterated this week that he would not travel to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, due to a perceived snub by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky towards German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier over Berlin’s relationship with Moscow. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk also made headlines when he accused Scholz of acting like “an offended liver sausage”, according to German media, referring to a type of sausage.
Germany has pledged to send armored anti-aircraft vehicles to Ukraine, upending its tradition of not sending such weapons to conflict zones. He also halted Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline projects between Russia and Germany.
Bryan Pietsch contributed to this report.