MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. The United States has forced Germany to make a decision to supply tanks to Ukraine, thus finally sacrificing German pacifism to the interests of the US economy and its political ambitions, polled experts told TASS on Wednesday.
According to Fyodor Lukyanov, the research director of the Valdai Discussion Club, Berlin's consent to send Leopard tanks to Kiev was a consequence of Europe’s general militarization. He pointed out that Germany turned out to be unable to resist this process, and now the military dimension was gradually taking center stage in its policy again.
"From the very beginning, it was clear that in the warmongering environment that has now taken shape in the West, the Germans actually cannot refuse to make these shipments. Germany, by virtue of the tradition established after World War II, had gone quite far in the direction of pacifism, but ever since the end of the Cold War, this trend has gone in the opposite direction. This process has now entered its final phase. We can see that step by step Germany is agreeing that the military dimension is coming back as the basis of its policy," Lukyanov said.
At the same time, the expert stressed that the United States had gone to great lengths to force Germany to make the decision in favor of sending Leopards to Ukraine. As Lukyanov noted, it was important for Washington to demonstrate it enjoys loyalty within NATO. "In addition, within the framework of the alliance between Europe and America, the issue of sharing the material burden has long been at the forefront. Now, in a situation where everything has sharply escalated, it is especially important for the United States to persuade its European allies to carry a greater burden, even for purely arithmetic reasons. The intensity of hostilities as it is, even such a powerful economy as the US is not quite certain about its own ability to quickly reproduce the necessary resources," Lukyanov said.
West does not let Germans hear inner voice
In turn, the general director of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov, has drawn attention to the fact that Germany is experiencing an internal rift over the issue of supplying the Ukrainian army with German tanks, but the authorities in Berlin simply succumbed to colossal external pressure. "It is clear that the United States has played a major role here, but Poland, the Baltic states, and several other countries of Central Europe persistently urged Germany to do this, too. Eventually, the decision was pushed through. Nevertheless, we see that this move was in no way an easy one. There were vigorous discussions. Even now, in Germany, there is no single point of view on this topic," he stated.
In particular, the expert pointed out that the adopted decision bore a heavy load of political symbolism for the people of Germany, who will again see German tanks in Donbass. "Given the history of the 20th century, this, of course, brings to mind various unpleasant associations for the Germans as well. Nevertheless, it was clear Chancellor Olaf Scholz would give in," Kortunov added.
Now the German leadership will have to give thought to how to deliver the tanks to Ukraine in practice. In this case, various technical difficulties will arise, but most importantly, there is a risk of harming the country’s own defense capability: the German army has a relatively small number of such combat vehicles. "In any case, I think that the shipment of a large number of tanks is ruled out, as the Bundeswehr itself is not in the best shape now. This is reflected, among other things, in the condition of its fleet of armored vehicles," Kortunov concluded.
Decision against Russia and Germany
Chief researcher Nikolay Mezhevich, of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that the campaign launched by the West in the media, including German media, is an important factor in the case of German tanks. He called for distinguishing between public opinion in Germany and mass media rhetoric.
"The German media is controlled not from Germany, but from elsewhere. The German public learns what it ostensibly thinks from the state-controlled media, which is not only anti-Russian, but also anti-German. What will London or Washington say, when Russian gunners start knocking out German tanks in Ukraine? They don't need a strong Russia, but they don't need a strong Germany, either," the analyst said.
At the same time, he stressed that tanks were offensive weapons posing a direct threat to the territories of Russia. This danger, as well as the historical background itself, Mezhevich said, will consolidate the Russians. "Our opponents do not really understand that the emergence of German tanks in the post-Soviet space will mean a turning point in the Russian public mind," Mezhevich said. "The Germans will be forced to feel the consequences of their decision."
Earlier, the German Cabinet announced that it had decided to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. In addition, Berlin would allow other countries to re-export them.