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A Plea for Negotiations

The West has good reasons for supplying weapons to Ukraine: But this entails shared responsibility for the further course of the war. Da Süddeutsche Zeitung.

he decision to supply Leopard tanks had just been hailed as “historic”, and the news was already overtaken – and relativized – by vociferous demands for combat aircraft, long-range missiles, warships and submarines. The appeals for help, as dramatic as they are understandable, from a Ukraine invaded in violation of international law met with the expected response in the West. The only novel aspect was the acceleration of the familiar game of morally indignant calls for more powerful weapons and for the duly delivered repeated, albeit hesitant, upgrading of the promised weapon types.

Also from circles within the German Social Democratic Party it was now rumoured that there were no “red lines”. With the exception of the Chancellor and his entourage, the government, the political parties and the press are almost united in taking to heart the imploring words of the Lithuanian foreign minister: “We must conquer the fear of defeating Russia.” The vague prospect of a “victory” that can mean all sorts of things is supposed to obviate any further discussion of the goal of our military assistance – and of how to achieve it. Thus, the armament process seems to be acquiring a momentum of its own. Although prompted by the very understandable urging of the Ukrainian government, it is being driven in Germany by the bellicose tenor of an almost uniform published opinion, in which the hesitance and reflection of half of the German population do not have a voice.

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