Now everything is happening very quickly: Ukrainian soldiers will start training on the Leopard 2 in February, and the main battle tank from Germany should be in use at the end of March and will push back the Russian attackers.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (64, SPD) hesitated for a long time to deliver the most dangerous German tank to Kyiv. He just wanted to take this next military step together with the USA and urged US President Joe Biden (80) to send Abrams tanks. The great battle tank alliance has been in place since this week.
► The Kremlin reacted angrily. Warmonger Vladimir Putin (70) announced that the delivery of the tanks was seen by Moscow as “direct participation in the conflict”.
Scholz knows: When in doubt, Europe cannot defend itself alone. Germany itself has no nuclear weapons of its own. And no shield against missile attacks either. If the worst comes to the worst, Germany would need the help of the USA.
That Europe and the USA stick together – this signal should send a large air combat exercise. In June, 15 NATO nations relocate around 200 aircraft to Germany for the “Air Defender 23” maneuver. For twelve days, the pilots train air warfare operations in the entire German airspace, sometimes also over Poland, the Czech Republic, the Baltic States and Romania.
According to BILD am SONNTAG information, the USA alone is sending around 90 aircraft, including its F-35, F-16 and F-15 fighter jets. This is the largest deployment of US air forces to Germany since NATO was founded. The Luftwaffe has Eurofighters, Tornados and the A400M military transport aircraft in service.
The maneuver is intended to show Moscow that NATO will defend its airspace together in the event of an attack.
There are different attitudes to the question of whether Ukraine should also get fighter jets from the West. The USA, France and Poland are at least open on this point. Scholz, on the other hand, ruled out the delivery of fighter jets in the Bundestag this week.
And in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he underlined this attitude and, according to the participants, made it clear to the ministers that he expected unity there.
This article comes from BILD am SONNTAG. The ePaper of the entire issue is available here.