Green light for tank delivery: From "inevitable" to "irresponsible": This is how politicians reacted to the Leopard decision

After weeks of back and forth, the federal government has decided to supply Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine.

Green light for tank delivery: From "inevitable" to "irresponsible": This is how politicians reacted to the Leopard decision

After weeks of back and forth, the federal government has decided to supply Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine. Other countries are also allowed to hand over such tanks to Kyiv. The German press agency learned this on Tuesday in Berlin from coalition circles. "Spiegel" and ntv had previously reported about it.

The reactions from German politicians were not long in coming.

The chairwoman of the defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), welcomed the decision to deliver. "The decision was tough, it took far too long, but in the end it is inevitable. The fact that Germany is allowing partner countries to deliver its Leopard 2 tank and is also delivering it itself is relieving news for the battered and brave Ukrainian people," said Strack - Zimmermann on Tuesday of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

The decision marks an important step in rolling back Russia's brutal attack on an innocent country. "With the very large amount of help that Germany has already provided in recent months and will continue to provide with its partners, a decisive step has been taken today on the way back to peace and freedom. We will not let up in these efforts until this path is complete," said Strack-Zimmermann. The Free Democrats are grateful that the ongoing commitment to the people of Ukraine has been successful.

FDP faction leader Christian Dürr also praised the decision. "The Chancellor made a decision today that no one took lightly," he told the "t-online" portal.

The Greens in the Bundestag welcome the German government's decision to sell Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine. "The leopard is free!" Tweeted Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt in English. "Now hopefully he can quickly help Ukraine in its fight against the Russian attack and for the freedom of Ukraine and Europe."

The chairman of the Europe Committee in the Bundestag, Anton Hofreiter, told the editorial network Germany (RND): "Of course it would have been better to make the decision faster, especially for Germany's reputation in Europe. But better late than not at all." Hofreiter added that Russian President Vladimir Putin still believes he can win his war of aggression against the neighboring country. "We have to make it clear to him that that's not going to happen." Hofreiter expressed almost the same wording in the "Rheinische Post".

Union faction leader Friedrich Merz also welcomed the decision of the federal government, but at the same time accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz of hesitation. "The decision is correct," said the CDU chairman on Tuesday evening of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

At the same time, Merz criticized the fact that if the Chancellor had announced such a decision together with the French President (Emmanuel Macron) at the Franco-German Council of Ministers on Sunday at the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty in Paris, then this would have been joint political leadership. So the image of a driven person who has hesitated too long remains."

The decision was also approved by the Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag, Thomas Erndl (CSU). The fact that Germany would ultimately deliver Leopard tanks "was unavoidable," Erndl told the German Press Agency in Berlin. He added: "It is important that we lead a European alliance now so that Ukraine receives significant numbers of Leopard 2s and training begins immediately."

The CSU politician also criticized the Chancellor. "As with all previous commitments, this decision was only made under maximum external pressure." Scholz's "massive decision-making weakness" caused an enormous loss of confidence in Europe and the USA.

The foreign expert of the Union faction in the Bundestag, Jürgen Hardt (CDU), called for a rapid training of Ukrainian soldiers on the weapon system. "The federal government's decision to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine was overdue. It is to be hoped that it will not come too late," said the foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group on Tuesday evening of the German Press Agency in Berlin . "Now the traffic light government must ensure that Ukrainian soldiers are trained quickly."

The AfD in the Bundestag criticizes the decision as "irresponsible and dangerous". Group leader Tino Chrupalla said on Tuesday in Berlin: "Germany is in danger of being drawn directly into the war. Our armed forces are being plundered further by the delivery of tanks from Bundeswehr stocks." In doing so, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is jeopardizing the security of Germany and its citizens, he said.

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