Zelensky slams Germany for not doing enough for Ukraine

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Volodymyr Omelyan, who was Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure between 2016-2019 and is now fighting on the front line for his country, told Express.co.uk that he hopes Germany becomes more proactive in providing support and weapons to Ukraine as “for Ukrainians, every hour counts”.

Throughout the war so far, questions have been raised over Berlin’s commitment to NATO’s security vision because of its delay in sending heavy weapon supplies.

In the early days of the war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suggested that sending heavy weapons to Ukraine would make Germany and NATO “parties to war”.

During an interview with German news source Der Spiegel, Mr Scholz said: “The need to be able to defend alliance territory at all times. It is a difficult balancing act that we constantly have to conduct together with our partners, because the threat to NATO territory from Russia persists”.

Germany appeared to be dithering – compared to some of its Western counterparts – over sending weapons to Ukraine immediately after the war began in February.

But in a historic shift, the country reversed a long-standing policy of never sending weapons to conflict zones, saying the Russian invasion of Ukraine was an epochal moment that imperilled the entire post-World War II order across Europe.

The country then sent 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stringer anti-aircraft defence systems to Ukraine.

However, despite the change in policy, Germany has been criticised for pursuing a low-profile stance on the Ukraine conflict, so as not to anger the Kremlin.

Mr Omelyan told Express.co.uk: “There is a lot of speculation around Germany’s supply of weapons to Ukraine and definitely it’s visible that Germany is very much reluctant to provide us with enough weapons.

“It is still a big issue… first off, because of its [Germany’s] big ties with Russia or even maybe corruption ties with Russia”.

Earlier this month, Andreas Krieg, a defence analyst and senior lecturer at King’s College London, told TRT World that Germany’s Social-Democratic Government has traditionally taken a pro-Russian approach.

He said: “They never saw themselves firmly being part of the Western European position, which is always a bit more anti-Russian”.

However, Mr Omelyan noted earlier this week “good news” came that seven more sophisticated artillery systems had arrived in Ukraine from Bundeswehr.

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He said: “Germany is changing and that’s good for Germany and Europe because it has always been considered a great nation and one of the key players on the European continent.

“But they are improving very little by little and in our case, every hour counts. We cannot wait for years for Germany to change and this is the biggest issue and sometimes why we are very emotional about Bundeswehr’s position.

“I still hope that Germany will be more proactive. They will forget about their strange friendship with Russia and in my personal opinion, their friendship is based purely on corruption.

He added: “I hope Scholz will become one of the real leaders of Europe because otherwise, the role of Germany will be miserable”.

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