The war in Ukraine is approaching a new phase, which has forced most allies to bet on sending offensive weapons, which Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for. Meanwhile, the European Union plans on Monday to release another 500 million euros from the European Peace Fund (EPF), which is the fund used to provide military aid to Ukraine. For this, the foreign ministers hope to bypass Hungary’s veto. With this seventh package, the EU’s total aid for arms will reach 4,000 million euros, plus 7,500, which the states contributed in turn.
Beyond this decision, the debate is now focused on opening a new phase with the shipment of offensive weapons to increase Ukraine’s ability to win against Russia. The pressure is mounting on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is reticent on the assumption that moving to this phase would mean an escalation by Vladimir Putin and fears of a nuclear attack.
On the one hand, most of the allies want the tanks they are asking for to be delivered to Ukraine. Basically, we are talking about the Leopard2, which is manufactured in Germany and needs your authorization to be supplied by other countries. Poland is the country that is in this situation and speaks the hardest. But the Balts are also exerting pressure.
“It is necessary to send all the weapons that Ukraine needs. Russia should understand, and the sooner, the better, that this war will end badly for Russia, Lithuanian Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said when he arrived at the Council of Foreign Affairs. “It is important that Ukraine receives the necessary material,” said his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto.
“In the current war, Ukraine needs to be supplied with tanks that it needs not only to contain, but also to repel. [al ejército ruso]”, said the High Representative of the European Union, Joseph Borrell, in an interview given in elDiario.es. The Presidents of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Presidents of the European Council, Charles Michel, have been speaking along the same lines in recent days.
The pressure on Scholz is not only external, but there are different sensibilities within his coalition government. Two minority partners support allowing tanks to enter Ukraine. Thus, Greens Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock assured in an interview on a French channel that if Poland asks for authorization, Germany “will not oppose”. However, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, of Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, assured that it was a decision that suited the chancellor and that he would make it “soon”, although he did not reveal where he was leaning. In his appearance with Emmanuel Macron, Scholz maintained his vagueness.
“The Spanish government has always taken decisions with one guide, which is best at all times, so that Ukraine can protect its freedom, independence and territorial integrity, which is basically to allow it to return to peace. – said Spain’s Jose Manuel Albarez, who did not want to specify whether this means sending offensive material (which also causes inconsistency in the coalition). “The unity of all Europeans is a value and is the best tool we have in the face of this enormous challenge with Vladimir Putin’s aggression,” the minister added.
What to do with Russia’s 300 billion?
While this debate is going on, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, has put another one on the table, calling on the 27 to take decisions on the recovery of Ukraine. In particular, he proposes to withdraw the frozen 300,000 million for this purpose, as he stated in separate interviews. the world i Financial Times.
“In the short term,” von der Leyen said in November, “we can create a structure to manage these funds and invest them. We would then use the proceeds from this amount for Ukraine. After the lifting of sanctions, Russia should use these funds for full compensation of the damage caused to Ukraine.” There were doubts within the European Union that these funds, which were seized under specific legislation that provided for their freezing, could be used for other purposes.
This decision will by no means be taken at the Foreign Affairs Council, which will be held in Brussels this Monday, in which new sanctions are expected to be imposed for repression in Iran. It is impossible to include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the list of terrorist organizations. As Borel explained, for this it would be necessary to declare a court of any EU country. “You can’t say: I consider you a terrorist because I don’t like you,” said the head of European diplomacy.
Source: El Diario