US, Allies Wondering If They Can Count on Germany Against Russia

Germany is blocking Estonia from sending weapons to Ukraine

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CategoriesGermany’s refusal to arm Ukraine and its trade relationship with Russia continues to irk the US and other NATO allies. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that US and European officials are asking if Berlin’s ties with Moscow are making Germany an “unreliable ally.”

Germany’s new coalition government has adopted a policy of not sending weapons to potential conflict zones. Berlin has also cited history as a reason not to participate in the military buildup in the region, referring to Nazi war crimes in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union.

Germany’s reasoning is not enough for some of its allies. Estonia has been waiting for over a month for Berlin to give approval for the Baltic country to send 10 Soviet-made howitzer guns to Ukraine. The howitzers belonged to East Germany, and after German reunification, the weapons were sent to Finland, which sold them to Estonia.

The Journal report quoted Kristo Enn Vaga, an Estonian defense official, who said Germany was delaying a time-critical decision. He said if Russia invades Ukraine, Estonia could be “next on the Russian bear’s menu.”

One project that angers many officials in Washington is the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that Germany and Russia are working on getting up and running. The construction of the pipeline was recently completed despite pressure from the US.

On Sunday, NATO Secretary-General said he was “concerned” over Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. Russia provides about a third of the EU’s gas supply and Germany relies on Moscow for more than 50 percent of its gas, and those numbers will increase once Nord Stream 2 is operational.

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