The Kremlin has again called out Germany for abandoning its historic neutrality regarding shipping weapons to foreign conflicts, with Russia’s ambassador to Berlin stressing the German government has violated a red line.
“The very fact that the Ukrainian regime is being supplied with German-made lethal weapons, which are used not only against Russian military service members, but also the civilian population of Donbass, crosses the red line,” Ambassador Sergey Nechaev told Izvestia newspaper in a fresh interview, subsequently republished in English in state sources.
Invoking Moscow’s previously stated objective to “de-nazify” Ukraine, the ambassador said that Germany should know better than to cross Russia’s red lines, “considering the moral and historic responsibility that Germany has before our people for the Nazi crimes.”
Nechaev continued by saying Germany “has unilaterally acted to destroy bilateral relations [with Russia] that were unique in scale and depth and had been built over decades,” and that, “In essence, the post-war reconciliation of our nations and peoples is being eroded.”
Addressing the soaring cost of utility bills the German population is already suffering – which is set to grow worse into the winter months amid the Nord Stream gas pipeline stoppage – the ambassador said the anti-Russia “sanctions war” led by government leaders will be increasingly seen by the German people as a case of “shooting yourself in the foot”, which is likely to lead to energy and cost-of-living protests.
“We believe the ongoing processes to be Germany’s domestic issue, in which we do not get involved,” Nechaev said. “And we certainly are not in the habit of delivering pompous lectures, the likes of which the West constantly makes about Russians.”
A week ago, Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal was welcomed to Berlin with military honors during an official visit with German chancellor, Olaf Scholz. Shmyhal thanked Germany for standing with Kiev amid the ongoing Russian invasion while calling for more weapons.
Steinmeier told Shmyhal that Germany will “continue to stand reliably by Ukraine’s side.”
He added, “Germany has made huge progress in its support of Ukraine with weapons.” This is a very different tune from a few months ago, when Ukrainian officials were lambasting the EU’s largest economy for doing too little in face of the Russian onslaught. And in fresh Monday comments Scholz said, “What we have delivered with our Gepard anti-aircraft tank, the self-propelled Howitzer 2000, the multiple rocket launcher MARS, are the weapons that are actually contributing to the fact that it is now also possible in the eastern battle to change the results as we see it at the moment.”
Germany’s federal government has recently published a lengthy list of all arms, munitions and other equipment transferred to Ukraine forces, with an official statement detailing, “Under the 2022 budget process, the funds for the security capacity building initiative were increased to a total of 2 billion euros for the year 2022. The additional funds are to be used primarily to support Ukraine.”