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Ex-NATO boss slams German leader

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called Olaf Scholz the “chancellor of eternal war” over his reluctance to send long-range missiles to Kiev

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been too conservative in his efforts to support Ukraine, former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said, arguing that this will only help to perpetuate Kiev’s conflict with Moscow.

In an interview with German broadcaster N-tv on Sunday, Rasmussen, who presided over the US-led military bloc between 2009 and 2014, claimed the Ukraine conflict had shown that some NATO members – particularly Germany – had failed to learn the lessons of the Cold War.

While Berlin has been Ukraine’s biggest backer in the EU, the former NATO boss said “there was too much hesitation in Germany when it came to important decisions on arms deliveries,” particularly in relation to Leopard tank shipments.

Rasmussen criticized Scholz for failing to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles. “I really don’t understand why. This hesitation only gives [Russian President Vladimir] Putin another incentive to continue the war,” he claimed.

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This approach will not result in peace, he continued, but rather a “never-ending war.”

“I noticed that Chancellor Scholz wants to be seen as a chancellor of peace. But I must say, more hesitation will not make him a chancellor of peace… It will make him a chancellor of eternal war.”

Rasmussen noted that the US had supplied Kiev with long-range ATACMS missiles, which he said would be “a very powerful weapon” in combination with F-16 fighter jets that are expected to arrive later this year.

“We must lift all restrictions on the delivery of weapons. Both in terms of the type of weapons we deliver and in terms of their use,” he stated.

Scholz has said his reluctance to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine stems from his desire to avoid escalating the conflict. He has also argued that Berlin would become a direct participant in the hostilities if Kiev’s use of these missiles required assistance from German troops.

Ukraine has already received long-range assets from several of its Western backers, including the US, France, and the UK. Washington recently approved the use of such weapons to strike deep inside Russian territory in a bid to stem Moscow’s offensive in Kharkov Region.

Ukraine also launched an ATACMS strike on Russia’s Crimea last month, killing four civilians and injuring more than 150. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced the attack as “absolutely barbaric,” urging Western journalists to ask their governments “why [they] are killing Russian children.”

July 01, 2024 at 03:31PM

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