Majority of German citizens oppose arms supplies to Ukraine – poll

The supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine, in particular, is opposed by supporters of all parties represented in the Bundestag.

For example, among supporters of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, 80% are against supplies, the block of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union – 64%, the Green Party – 72%, the Free Democratic Party – 65%, “Alternatives for Germany” – 89 %, the Left Party – 76%.

36% of Germans surveyed fear that Russia will invade Ukraine. The majority (57%) believe that Russia will not invade Ukraine anytime soon.

The survey was conducted by the Wahlen research group on behalf of the ZDF. It took place in the form of a telephone interview between January 25 and January 27, 2022 with 1249 randomly selected respondents. The survey is representative of the German voting population.

Context:

German financial assistance for the first five years since the start of the war in 2014 amounted to more than €1.4 billion, however, the country did not provide weapons to Ukraine.

On January 17, 2022, German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock stated that Germany’s position on the supply of defense weapons to Ukraine remains unchanged.

That German representative on the supervisory board of the NATO Support and Supply Agency (NSPA) blocked the transfer to Ukraine already paid by it through this NATO structure for anti-drone rifles, wrote on December 11, 2021 ZN.UA. Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk spoke about informal signals from Germany that “such weapons could potentially provoke further military escalation along the demarcation line and lead to larger clashes.” This is the main line of argument that official Berlin explains the refusal to provide Ukraine with weapons. The Ambassador predicts that the course of the new government will not change in this respect.

In a commentary to the Financial Times, which was published on December 12, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov stated that Germany blocked arms supplies to Ukraine through NATO, despite US warnings of a possible new Russian invasion. According to Reznikov, Berlin in November vetoed Ukraine’s purchase of anti-drone rifles and anti-sniper systems through the NSPA. Subsequently, Germany softened its position on the first point, considering these weapons non-lethal, so that Ukraine still managed to purchase anti-drone guns.

On December 13, the German publication Bild wrote that the supply of weapons to Ukraine within the framework of NATO blocked former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Ukraine had already paid for the weapons in early 2021 through the NATO Support and Supply Agency and was awaiting delivery. But in May, the representatives of Germany and the Netherlands on the NSPA board blocked the sale of American rifles. Bild’s interlocutor said that the Netherlands supported the FRG “on instructions from Berlin,” since the Merkel government did not want to give the impression that it was the only one among the Alliance member countries opposed to the sale.

That Germany will provide Ukraine with 5 thousand military protective helmets, January 26, said Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. By providing such assistance, Germany “gives a clear signal” that it supports Ukraine, the head of the defense department said.

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