Zelensky asks for more respect from the European Union
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Documents seen by German newspaper Welt this month revealed Olaf Scholz’s Government had not supplied any significant weapons to Volodymyr Zelensky’s army since the end of March. Since this time, only two small arms deliveries have been sent to Ukraine, the paper reported.
The Government did not confirm the report, telling Welt: “Information on specific weapon deliveries is security-relevant and classified…[we] can neither provide more detailed information nor confirm details.”
The Chancellor has signalled a reluctance to back Ukraine with full force due to the risk of nuclear war.
In April, he declared that “a cool head and well-considered decisions” were needed more than ever.
Mr Scholz told Spiegel magazine: “I said very early on that we must do everything possible to avoid a direct military confrontation between Nato and a highly armed superpower like Russia, a nuclear power.
“I am doing everything to prevent an escalation leading to a third world war. There must be no nuclear war.”
Telegraph journalist Justin Huggler, writing from Berlin, described this as “the first explanation Mr Scholz has offered for what is seen as his Government’s lukewarm support for Ukraine”.
Kyiv has responded that it can ill afford to wait any longer for the delivery of heavy arms.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said there are countries from which Ukraine is waiting for deliveries and “countries where we are tired of waiting”.
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He added that Germany belongs to the second group.
The Minister told Italian newspaper Repubblica that Germany had spent weeks concealing from Ukraine what weapons could be delivered.
Mr Kuleba said: “At this point, I ask the West once again to send us all the 155-millimetre calibre guns and multiple rocket launchers they can send us.”
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Germany has agreed to supply 50 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks and seven 2,000 howitzers.
Confusion remains over the date of arrival, with reports suggesting this may have to wait until July.
Ukrainian authorities recently suggested the Russian military had entered a new, more aggressive phase in its “special military operation”.
Vladimir Putin’s troops appear to be making greater gains than in the early weeks of the war when a range of military efforts was ridiculed for having failed.
It is, however, difficult to measure the extent of Moscow’s success, not least because Putin’s specific aims in the war remain unclear.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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