Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, criticised Germany for doing business with Russia when he addressed the Bundestag earlier today.
Zelenskyy pointed out that since the German government prioritises its economic interests, help had come “too late to stop war”, Reuters reported.
“We could see your willingness to continue to do business with Russia and now we’re in the middle of the cold war… and again this is something you have failed to see”, the Ukrainian President declared. “You’re still protecting yourself behind a wall that does not make it possible for you to see what we are going through.”
The video call follows his earlier addresses to other countries to rally more support for Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. When speaking to the Canadian parliament and the US Congress, he called for more economic sanctions against Russian leaders and those who enabled the war, stressing that “peace is more important than income.”
While the German government initially refused to send weapons to Ukraine, it did later approve plans to send arms to the country. Reportedly, Germany has sent more than 1,000 anti-tank and surface-to-air weapons as well as 2,700 Soviet-era missiles to Ukraine, to date.
Germany to up military spending
This week, it announced plans to modernise the Luftwaffe, Chancellor Olaf Scholz having declared last month that the country would increase its military budget by 100 billion euro this year.
Scholz added that Germany would fulfil its obligation as a NATO member to spend at least 2% of its GDP annually on its military. He said it was clear that “we need to invest significantly more in the security of our country in order to protect our freedom and our democracy.”
Germany is opposed to NATO involvement in the conflict in Ukraine and continues to stress the need for de-escalation.
This month, when Poland offered to send its fighter jets to Ukraine from the Ramstein Air Base in south-western Germany, should NATO greenlight the move, neither the US nor Germany approved the proposal.
At the time, Scholz emphasised that “we want to de-escalate the conflict, we want to see an end to this conflict.”