Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas called on Germany on Monday to provide military support to Ukraine as a deterrence against Russia.
In an interview with Bild daily, Kallas said Ukraine needs support from its partners to strengthen its self-defense capability against further aggression.
“We encourage our German partners to listen to the Ukrainians. Ukraine asked for help. The country needs help in its self-defense against the aggressor,” she said.
Kallas blamed Russia for the recent escalation, and said Moscow has been trying to reassert its political and military influence over its neighbors. “We hope that diplomacy and dialogue can prevail, but the risk of a conflict is real,” she warned.
Her comments echoed similar warnings made by senior politicians from eastern European countries in recent weeks, who also asked NATO allies to provide greater military support to Ukraine.
Germany has so far ruled out delivering lethal weapons to Ukraine, pointing out to the country’s restrictive arms export policy, and arguing that this could further escalate military tensions and undermine efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
It had announced it is offering 5,000 protective military helmets to Ukraine, a move termed by Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko as a “joke.”
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki openly criticized Germany last week for refusing to deliver weapons to Ukraine, while Latvia’s Defense Minister Artis Pabriks slammed Berlin for taking an “immoral and hypocritical” position.
Estonia wants to send its army’s Germany-made howitzers to Ukraine, but it could not yet obtain an export permission from Berlin. German authorities are saying that this request is currently under examination.
Besides its opposition to the arms supplies, Berlin also remains reluctant to block the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, although the US administration and NATO’s eastern members repeatedly called for a harsher stance against Russia.
Under pressure, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently said that everything will be up for discussion, including the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Russia takes further aggressive action against Ukraine.
The EU’s biggest economy is heavily dependent on Russian gas and oil, and the country’s plan to phase out nuclear power has further increased its dependence. Germany imports nearly 55% of its gas and about 42% of its oil from Russia.
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