At the Berlin Bundestag, Olaf Scholz promised Ukraine all the support it needed. After the war, a “Marshall Plan” for the country’s rebuilding needed to be set up. The Russian war of aggression and its implications will be discussed at several big summits Scholz will be part of in the next seven days.
Berlin, June 23rd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Olaf Scholz has several important appointments. First, the European Council convenes in Brussels. Today, it will discuss the accession of Western Balkan states. On Friday, Russia’s ongoing war against its neighbor Ukraine, its implications and security are on the agenda. Then, on Sunday, the G7 summit Scholz will be hosting commences in the Bavarian alps.
In less than a week from now, on June 29th, to be precise, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany is scheduled to head to Madrid for the NATO summit. According to a statement released by the organization, “important issues facing the Alliance” are on the agenda. “The Madrid Summit will set NATO’s strategic direction for the next decade and beyond, ensuring that the Alliance will continue to adapt to a changing world and keep its one billion people safe.”
There are extremely important questions the heads of government of the NATO states need to discuss: How has Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the new security reality in Europe affected NATO’s approach to deterrence and defense? What is the Alliance doing to address other challenges, like China’s growing influence and assertiveness or the security consequences of climate change? What should the Alliance’s future adaptation to a more competitive world look like, where authoritarian powers try to push back against the rules-based international order?
Ahead of all of those meetings, Olaf Scholz spoke at the Berlin Bundestag. “Security is the most fundamental promise a state owes its citizens. We have reiterated this promise”, he said. In his government declaration, he mentioned the special funding for the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces, which he had announced right after the war had started. With those funds, “the foundation for a new security architecture” had been laid. The Federal Republic will invest 100 billion Euro (105.7 billion U.S. Dollars or 86.2 billion Pounds Sterling) into the modernization of its military.
Scholz stated Germany was taking responsibility for itself and its allies. The NATO partners in Eastern Europe could rely on Germany, the Chancellor stressed. He made clear he was confident Finland and Sweden would be NATO allies soon. Their membership would be “a security benefit” for both NATO and Europe. According to Scholz, a signal of solidarity and determination will be sent out from next week’s NATO summit.
Germany’s head of government also spoke about his recent visit to Ukraine. Cities like Bucha or Irpin were “places of horror”. The Russian aggressors needed to be forced back. Scholz said he had promised Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Germany would continue to support his country massively. This would include financial, economic, humanitarian and political help and the delivery of weapons. This would continue “for as long as Ukraine needs our support.”
According to Olaf Scholz, Ukraine is receiving the kind of weapons it needs. They would be delivered “today and in future”. He said the armored howitzers Germany had promised Zelenskyy’s government were now in Ukraine. The Bundeswehr had trained Ukrainian soldiers on how to use them in the past few weeks.
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Task for Generations
Rebuilding Ukraine would be a task for generations, the Chancellor said at the Bundestag. In the past 100 days, the European Union had provided billions of Euro of support. But “many billions of Euro and Dollars” would be needed for the rebuilding task. At the G7 summit, a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” would be discussed with President Zelenskyy.
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