Scholz declines invitation to Washington

Germany Has Little Maneuvering Room in Ukraine Conflict

The U.S. wants to impose harsh sanctions on Russia invades Ukraine. But the German government is putting on the brakes out of fears over the economic consequences and what punitive measures could mean for energy supplies for a country that gets much of its gas from Moscow.

By Markus Becker, Florian Gathmann, Matthias Gebauer, Kevin Hagen, Valerie Höhne, Martin Knobbe, Veit Medick, Jonas Schaible, Fidelius Schmid, Christoph Schult, Christian Teevs, Gerald Traufetter und Severin Weiland

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Germany Breaks With NATO Allies to Rebuff Ukraine’s Pleas for Weapons

By Brendan Cole
Jan 22, 2022

Berlin has rejected calls to provide Kyiv with weapons in a week in which the U.K. and the U.S. reiterated their commitment to helping Ukraine’s military amid soaring tensions over a buildup of Russian troops by its border.

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German defense minister Christine Lambrecht told the newspaper Welt am Sonntagthat there was “consensus in the federal government” that arms deliveries to Ukraine are “currently not helpful.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, said this week his country needed vessels to defend its Black Sea and Sea of Azov coasts from a Russian invasion, telling German press agency DPA that German ships “are among the best in the world.”

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German conservative leader warns against Russian SWIFT suspension

Jan 16, 2022

The incoming leader of Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Friedrich Merz, has warned against suspending Russia from the international banking payment system SWIFT as a potential punishment for any Russian attack of Ukraine.

“Calling SWIFT into question could be an atomic bomb for the capital markets and also for goods and services,” he told dpa ahead of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s scheduled visit to Ukraine and Russia on Monday and Tuesday. “We should leave SWIFT untouched,” Merz urged.

“I would see massive economic setbacks for our own economies if something like that happens. It would hit Russia, but we would be damaging ourselves considerably,” Merz warned.

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A brave German

German navy chief Schönbach resigns over comments on Putin, Crimea

Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach stepped down as the head of the German navy after publicly saying Crimea was lost to Ukraine and that Vladimir Putin “probably” deserved respect.

Jan 22, 2022

Germany faced a diplomatic incident on Saturday following comments made by Navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine crisis. Schönbach stepped down from his position late on Saturday.

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“I have asked Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,” Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach said in a statement cited by the Reuters news agency.

“The minister has accepted my request,” he added.

What were Schönbach’s remarks?

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