Updated May 2nd, 2023 at 22:28 IST

Germany insists 'doing everything' to prevent NATO-Russia direct confrontation

Arming Ukraine wasn't Germany's unilateral step but a move in coordination with the allies in the European Union, the US and NATO Alliance, Scholz said.

Reported by: Zaini Majeed
IMAGE: AP | Image:self

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whom the Kremlin warned against becoming a party to the raging offensive in Ukraine, on Monday, May 1 asked Ukraine's military not to use the weaponry his country supplied to launch assaults on the territory of the Russian Federation. German Chancellor had earlier iterated that his administration "will do everything necessary" to avoid the direct confrontation between 31-member states military Alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organisation [NATO] and Russia.

At the same time, he noted, Berlin will ensure full support for Ukraine having previously vowed to stand by Kyiv to defeat Russia "as strongly, and as long as necessary." 

Arming Ukraine wasn't Germany's unilateral step but a move in coordination with the allies in the European Union, the US and NATO Alliance, Scholz purported as he warned against any attacks inside Russia using German armament. The latter did not clarify what he meant with the Russian territory—the borders demarcated post-USSR collapse on December 31, 1991, or whether it includes the 2014 Russian annexed territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, where Russia has based its Black Sea Fleet on the northern coast of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Germany, alongside the US, is planning to disrupt Ukraine's NATO membership during a July summit in Vilnius as it expects Kyiv not to take on specific commitments yet, RND said, citing the German Press Agency (DPA). Behind closed doors, Berlin clarified that it “does not want to make any commitments for the time being that go substantially beyond a vague NATO declaration from 2008.”

Scholz speaks in front of Leopard 2 tanks to be supplied to Ukraine. Credit: AP

'Our weapons shouldn't be used in attacks Russia; it's important to us:' German Chancellor

Speaking during a town hall meeting in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Scholz, who often hails the determination and courage of the Ukraine soldiers on how they defend their freedom, asked them not to use German weapons for assaults on Russians. Since the inception of the war, the Russian towns of Bryansk, Belgorod and Kursk, all bordering Ukraine have witnessed increasing drone and missile attacks. 

“It’s important for us that weapons that we supply for Ukraine to defend itself aren’t used in attacks on the Russian territory,” the chancellor said during an address on Monday, as quoted by Russia Today newspaper.

German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, had maintained last month that it was “fully normal” for Ukrainian troops to carry out the assaults on the Russian positions to “cut supply routes” and weaken their offensive resolve. Although, Pistorius urged that the civilians must be avoided being made the target of the assaults aimed at Russian fighters. Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had also warned earlier that NATO will become “party to the conflict” and that Russia will respond to such moves “adequately” should they not cease the incessant supply of long-range weaponry to Ukraine's forces, which it alleged were used to target Russian territories close to the Ukrainian border.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz talks to German army Bundeswehr soldiers. Credit: AP

Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, at a conference said: "If Washington decides to supply Kyiv with longer-range missiles, it will cross the red line and become a direct party to the conflict. We reserve the right to defend our territory with all the means available to us." 

President Putin, in his most expansive remarks against NATO, has warned the countries deploying weapons or soldiers to Ukraine that they would cross a “red line" by bringing their military infrastructure to Moscow's "doorstep". “You asked about Ukraine, where are these red lines?” he said in televised remarks during an investment conference. “They are above all in the creation of threats to us which could come from [Ukraine].” Putin also threatened NATO against the installation of Air Defense Systems or Tomahawk missiles in Romania and Poland. 

“We would have to create a similar threat for those who are threatening us,” Russia's President Putin warned. 


Published May 2nd, 2023 at 22:28 IST