January 31, 2023

We won’t allow war between Russia, NATO – German Chancellor

Olaf Scholz

By Biodun Busari

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said that the war between Russia and Ukraine will not escalate to involve the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Scholz also revealed on Sunday that Germany will not send fighter jets to Ukraine as Kyiv called on the West for more weapons to counter the Russian invasion, according to Euro News.

After several weeks of reluctance, Berlin decided on Wednesday to send 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and to allow other countries to do the same.

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In the same vein, the United States President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that 31 Abrams tanks will be sent to Ukraine to resist Russian attacks.

While appreciating Berlin and Washington, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately requested for more, including fighter planes and long-range missiles.

But, reacting in an interview on Sunday with the Tagesspiegel newspaper about Zelensky’s demand for fighter planes, Scholz said, “The question of fighter planes does not even arise. I can only advise against getting into a constant bidding war when it comes to weapon systems.”

“As soon as a decision (on the tanks) is taken, a new debate starts in Germany” on something else, “that is not serious and undermines the confidence of the citizens in the decisions of the government”, he added.

Scholz again warned against the “risk of escalation” with Moscow. “There is no war between NATO and Russia. We will not allow such an escalation.”

According to him, it is “necessary” to continue talking with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Their last meeting dates back to the beginning of December. “I’m going to talk to Putin on the phone again,” he said, without specifying a deadline.

“But of course, it is also clear that as long as Russia continues to wage war by relentlessly attacking (Ukraine), the current situation will not change,” he said.