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The Germans are betraying Ukraine

Olaf Scholz: playing for both sides? Maja Hitij/Getty

If you think lies about cake in Downing Street constitute a “serious matter of state”, says Wolfgang Münchau in EuroIntelligence, have a look at Germany. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been “caught red-handed” lying about weapons deliveries to Ukraine. On Tuesday, the German leader proudly announced he’d agreed with Kyiv a list of crucial weapons to be shipped out, and that Germany would pay for them. Ukrainian officials demurred, pointing out that Scholz’s list included none of the weapons it actually needed. When German tabloid Bild got hold of a copy, they found the list had shrunk to half its original length, and all heavy weaponry had been removed “on orders from Scholz”.

This is outrageous. While the most powerful country in Europe is “pretending to be a loyal member of the Western alliance”, its leader seems to be working behind the scenes “to frustrate economic sanctions” and block weapons deliveries. Scholz’s party, the SPD, has deep ties to Russia, and while it was “shocked” by Vladimir Putin’s invasion, it isn’t ready to break with him. A leading Green Party member of Scholz’s ruling coalition says the chancellor has increased the danger “that the conflict in Ukraine could turn into World War Three”. By undermining Western support for Ukraine, Germany’s leader is fast becoming “Putin’s most valuable ally”.